Todd Sampson, the advertising guru best known for his trademark t-shirt collection on Gruen Transfer is not one for getting dressed up in a suit and tie.
He has recently been appointed a director of two major Australian companies – Fairfax Media and Qantas – and is sticking with his casual style, wearing a t-shirt to his first boardroom meeting for Qantas earlier this year.
Chairman Leigh Clifford gave him a Qantas t-shirt before the meeting in what Sampson says was a “funny moment”.
“I would like to think you are not being hired by how you dress. I don’t do it to make a statement or to show I can wear what I like,” Sampson told The Australian.
“If I was in a situation where it was appropriate to wear a suit and tie, I would. And I have. If I felt that wearing a suit and tie would have a positive impact on the outcome of the meeting, I would definitely do it. But it makes no difference to how I input on the board.’’
The borderline-surfie look helps Sampson stand out in Australian corporate life.
“One of the most important strategic pillars in marketing is differentiation,” said Ten executive and former partner of the ABC’s Gruen Transfer Russel Howcroft.
“Just because you wear a T-shirt doesn’t mean you can’t operate in serious corporate circles.”
Disclosure: Business Insider Australia is published by Allure, which is 100% owned by Fairfax Media.
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