Simon’s first big insight into what he wanted to do came when, aged 21, doing a long vacation job on a Price Waterhouse cost control project in a Brooklyn NY brewery, the assignment ended with a week of his contract still to run. The brewery sent him to their advertising agency BBDO on Madison Avenue.
That was the start of his interest in marketing and advertising. His earlier career included being a brand manager on Knorr products for Best Foods (now Unilever) and later a group product manager with Colgate-Palmolive. He then joined the Charles Barker Group, becoming CEO of its consumer advertising agency Ayer Barker where he quickly learnt that recruiting and inspiring outstanding people is the No 1 requirement in a client service business.
Ten years later he became CEO of Barkers Human Resources where he saw the need for a consulting business and formed PiB. He later led its MBO to become an independent business. Simon created the Employer Brand approach to management (now a subject with 446,000 Google pages). He has worked on 31 M&A transactions as a consultant and further 10 as a corporate employee and with Jenny Davenport wrote Employee Communications in Mergers and Acquisitions – the soft stuff is the hard bit (Gower 2009).
His education included an Exchange Scholarship 12th Grade year in America, followed by Christ Church, Oxford (BA/MA). He is a trustee of the Teaching Awards Trust, aiming to improve the public recognition of great teachers.