Ev can be described as the UK’s Wizard of Oz—trying to make sure the clients are happy, the team is enjoying itself, and that all goes up to the plan. Meet Evgueni Spiridonov, Client Service Director at our London office.
1. Are you originally from your current city? If not, where are you from?
I am a Russian native, with a French Passport, an American Green Card and an assumingly-soon-to-come-post-Brexit residency permit.
2. Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
I spent a lot of years of working on global tobacco brands (booooo!). One of them was a fantastic cultural icon and one of the most influential brands in the world – Lucky Strike. At the time I was 24 and was offered an Account Manager job in NY to work in the ‘central office’, coordinating about 45 markets where we operated the brand. Imagine the sense of responsibility, feeling of pride and amounts of fun you can experience when getting to work on this type of account. It was also the exact time when Mad Men was starting, with the famous first episode being about…Lucky Strike and it’s famous tagline – “It’s Toasted". It was awesome!
3. What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
“Urban exploring”, painting, boxing would be the main ones. I also strongly feel compelled to sport motocycles and am just waiting for an approval from my wife to be able to buy one.
4. What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
My daughter. She is my world and no mater how tough my day could be – her hug and kiss would make all the problems go away…or at least put them in a bit of perspective.
5. What is your hidden talent?
I marinate & bbq REEAAALLY good meat. Seriously. That good.
6. What is your biggest pet peeve?
My wife finds me being too pragmatic. My Russian side I guess.
She also finds me to be a bit too often driven by my emotions. My French side I guess.
That makes me a sort of schizophrenic…I guess.
7. What is something most people would be surprised to know about you?
I live with 5 women. My wife + my daughters + step daughters. 5 women. Under the same roof. I will say no more.
8. Name 3 things on your bucket list (things you really want to do or places.
- Travel to anywhere that is more than a 6 hour flight from London and where people don’t use English as their primary language.
- Cross the US East to West in a convertible. (I know it sort of contradicts the first point, but I told you — I am a bit schizophrenic).
- Grow my hair back. But I’m really scared of the ‘in between’ look.
9. What is one of your personal mottos or favorite sayings?
10. Name a favorite line from a movie.
Not quite a movie line, although it really should be…
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming 'Wow! What a Ride!'” – Hunter Thomson
11. What is your favorite part of your job? What makes you excited to come into the office every day?
I see myself as the conductor of an orchestra. I aim to create the perfect symphony by combining the individual talents from all people involved in the life of an agency — the demanding clients, the inspired creative, the diligent account guys, the insightful planners, the knowledgeable production gurus, the detail-focused finance peeps, the knowledge-hungry interns, the solution-oriented suppliers, etc. I try to motivate, reassure, control and inspire all, so we all know where we want to get, and that all can positively contribute to the journey. Of course, not all situations allow to create the perfect symphony, and someone will always fail at some point. But then it’s up to the team and the synergy I would have managed to create within the ‘orchestra’ to allow for a quick and efficient fix of the false note. Because the show must go on.