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Brian Johnson appointed new Forward Role Managing Director

Author: Steve Thompson
Brian Johnson Steve Thompson

To celebrate the successes of the last six months, we kicked off 2020 with a High Rollers trip to Krakow in Poland.

It was an enormous pleasure during the trip to surprise Brian Johnson with a promotion to Managing Director. It was an emotional moment for us both and the vodka flowed long into the night.

2019 was an incredible year for Forward Role in many ways; the business continued to grow across our traditional Marketing and Digital divisions, as well as expanding the Executive, London and Contract teams.

Brian played a huge part in our success and I felt it was time his hard work is rewarded with the MD badge and the opportunity to take more responsibility in the direction of the business.

Brian joined the business just over six years ago, at a time where we had a handful of consultants in our Bolton office and a couple dozen regular clients.

Fast forward to 2020 and Forward Role is an award winning, 35-person business and the biggest Marketing & Digital recruiter in the North – working with national household brands like AO.com, JD Sports, Ocado and Selfridges.

Looking back, I thank my lucky stars that Brian walked through my doors.

One of the most difficult things to do as a business owner is to find someone who works as hard and is as passionate as you are about your brand. It’s also important to find someone who dove tails well with your own skill set and Brian is strong in areas where I am weak - and vice versa.

Brian has worked tirelessly to create the key pillars for growth that has enabled the business to double in turnover every two years since he joined.

He introduced a culture of constant learning and development that has allowed us to grow a high performing team. He created a sales engine that has taken us away from what was predominantly an account management model  in the early years and he’s continued to ensure that we live up to our reputation for market leading customer service and delivery standards.

The latter was my reason for setting the business up originally; having been massively underwhelmed by the standard of service in the industry as a marketing candidate 15+ years ago. To achieve so much growth, whilst maintaining our beliefs around service really makes me happy and any of the Forward Role team will tell you that I celebrate a 5 star review on Google or Glassdoor like a new client win or a fee.

I would like to put on record my thanks to Brian for his dedication over the last 6 years and I’m excited to watch him continue to drive the business forward. Myself and the board have every confidence in him to be a huge success.

As for me. I will continue to work in the business full time under the ‘Founder’ tag. Brian’s new role will allow me to focus on the things I love; marketing, client service and business development – and I’ll continue to head up our executive search brand; FR Executive - helping our clients find the best senior Marketing & Digital talent to fuel the growth of their businesses.

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