John Gellett


John’s career for over 25 years was in the Marketing and Creative Agency sector. During this time he worked at several leading agencies and ultimately his own independent agency ‘ZGC’. He has worked on hundreds of brand and commercial challenges for world class clients. These long-term retained clients included; Coca Cola, Diageo, Mars, Reebok, Barclays, Sainsbury’s, Rank and Heineken.

This culminated at ZGC with a strong team of over 200 staff in 6 offices across Europe with turnover in excess of £50m. ZGC ultimately became part of Mosaic Group which was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange with total global revenues of US$ 1Bn. John has also successfully set-up, invested in, developed and exited several other successful businesses across a mix of sectors including fmcg, services and creative agencies. However it has not been all plain sailing with numerous commercial lessons, scars and invaluable experiences picked up along the way!

Over the last decade John has specialised in running businesses as interim CEO or MD. This was either to enable the owner to take a sabbatical and move to a non-executive Chairman role or to manage and implement the development of the management team so that they are equipped and ready for succession. Building on this experience, in the last few years John has been engaged by VCs as an interim CEO and placed into underperforming, invested businesses in the creative agency sector with a turnaround brief. Typically these are businesses with c£30m invested, c£50 – £60m turnover and c100 staff. These projects have included Billington Cartmell Group and WRG Live.

Most importantly however for John, alongside this commercial success he has gained as much if not more satisfaction from working with and developing his senior reports in all of these businesses with a mix of coaching and mentoring.

The combination of John’s commercial experience and senior manager development skills is why his role as a Vistage Chair is perfect for him.

The very best business coaches and peer group mentoring.

Vistage Chairs are seasoned business executives and come from a variety of backgrounds and industries. We hand-pick them based on some common and well-proven criteria. They’re great listeners; they’re people-orientated and results driven. The role of a Vistage Chair is to ensure that every bit of experience and wisdom is applied in each Vistage meeting. Our Chairs are accomplished leaders (many are former MDs or CEOs). They are part facilitator, part coach and are committed to the success of their group members. Learn more about peer group mentoring and coaching.

Types of Group run by this Chair

Successful leaders combine good business sense with inspiration, guidance and unwavering authority. Connect with up to 16 peers from a diverse range of non-competitive businesses and backgrounds in this one-of-a-kind peer advisory and executive leadership development program.

The Vistage Chief Executive Program creates a unique environment that provides each member with individual insight, coaching, strategies and leadership skills to help you make better decisions and achieve better results for your company. Harness the power of a group of fellow executives all driven to do the best for themselves and their peers.

We tailor each Vistage private advisory group to ensure that each member get the maximum benefit possible.

We have specific groups for CEOs/MDs running larger SME business (typically £3-£50m); executives running smaller businesses (typically £1-3m); key executives who report to a CEO/MD; and for organisations that wish to bring Vistage inside their organisation for all their senior management team. Find out more about the different Vistage group offerings