Head of global agency designs new exit strategy for business leaders
Simon Cohen, Founder and Managing Director of London-based communications agency Global Tolerance, recently launched a unique global search process to find a new leader and beneficiary for his business. Cohen will be launching the first ever Open Leadership Exercise (OLE), handing over 95% ownership of the company, £10,000 in the bank, a state-of-the-art website, a decade of business contacts, and all the company assets. He hopes that business leaders around the world will consider their own version of an OLE as a new type of exit strategy.
Global Tolerance is an established, profitable, 10 year old communications agency, which includes His Holiness the Dalai Lama, HRH The Prince of Wales, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, and TED, among its client roster. In April 2013, Cohen became the first Managing Director in the UK to place their whole company on a one year sabbatical, to coincide with becoming a father. It was during the sabbatical year that he decided to take this unconventional approach, and find a new leader and owner to drive the business forwards.
Commenting on the initiative, Simon Cohen said “This is a unique opportunity for someone to run and lead their own agency and it is truly open to all.” Cohen, an award winning social entrepreneur and writer, is well known for his unconventional Pause for Thoughts on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2. He founded Global Tolerance in 2003, aged 24, after studying Theology and spending two years in advertising.
Cohen added “The Open Leadership Exercise is a new type of exit strategy for business leaders and owners. I am at the stage of my life where I want to focus on family, but I still have an unswerving belief in my company. It’s a way I can not only leave the company, but also leave a legacy for those who follow me.”
The first stage of the OLE runs from 24 March – 15 April 2014. The new owner and leader of Global Tolerance will be announced in the Summer 2014. Members of the public can apply here: http://globaltolerance.com/#/story/gtoleentryform/
The OLE is supported by organisations including Action for Happiness, the Dalai Lama Fellows, i-genius, and the Peace and Collaborative Development Network.