Johnson to quit as head of GPC

Jon Johnson, president and chief executive of the world’s largest public affairs agency, Government Policy Consultants (GPC) International, has resigned.

Jon Johnson, president and chief executive of the world’s largest

public affairs agency, Government Policy Consultants (GPC)

International, has resigned.



Johnson founded GPC in Canada in 1986. Today the agency is Canada’s

largest.



The group has 11 offices in Brussels, the UK and Canada, including one

of the largest lobbying operations in London. It employs 300 staff,

around 170 of them in Canada, and has a turnover of pounds 20

million.



Johnson cashed in his chips with Omnicom last year when the marketing

services giant bought a majority stake of the Canadian operation, GPC

International and merged the company with its lobbying operations in

Brussels and London and Edinburgh.



Following the sale of his shares in the company, Johnson has decided to

move, but has not announced his future plans. He will leave in

September.



Johnson oversaw the controversial merger between GPC in London and Prima

Europe, in January. It was as a director of Prima Europe that Derek

Draper, one of the lobbyists involved in the ’cash for access’ case,

joined GPC.



Johnson will be replaced by GPC Canada chairman Hershell Ezrin. Ezrin

joined the company in January from his post as chief executive of

Canadian automotive repair giant Speedy, the largest company of its kind

in Europe and North America.



From 1988 to 1992 Ezrin was senior vice president of corporate affairs

at conglomerate the Molson Company. Between 1985 and 1988 he was deputy

minister to the-then premier of Ontario, David Peterson. Ontario is the

largest of Canada’s ten provinces, and serves a third of Canada’s

population.



Like Johnson, Ezrin will report to John Graham, chief executive of

Communications Consulting Worldwide, a division of Omnicom which also

includes Fleishman-Hillard and Porter Novelli International.



Graham said: ’Johnson wants to do something else. Both the Canadian and

European operations were doing well and he had established as Hershell

as a successor, so neither I nor Omnicom had any objections to him

leaving.’



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