Exclusive: Major shift at AskonasHolt

Exclusive: Major shift at AskonasHolt


norman lebrecht

October 02, 2020

The day’s second agency restructuring has just hit the fan.

Sean Michael Gross, a board member of AskonasHolt and its Global Head of Strategy & Innovation, has resigned from the London agency as part of its urgent need for deep cuts. He is one of 20 staff who are leaving (as we previously reported) and his departure is compounded by the decision of another director, Gaetan Le Divelec, to walk away.

AskonasHolt assure us that they will, unlike Cami, survive the crisis and are now in a leaner position to do so, although further economies cannot be ruled out. Nobody wants to see another Cami crash.

Here’s Sean’s resignation letter, which goes out tonight.

Dear colleagues,

It is with great sadness that I report that I have made the difficult decision to leave Askonas Holt at the end of January 2021.

Due to the impact of Covid-19, we’ve had to undertake a restructuring of the company, including making reductions to our workforce through a program of voluntary redundancies, career breaks, flexible working, and early retirements.

Following open and honest discussions with my fellow Board colleagues, we have agreed there is unfortunately no longer the scope to realize many of the ambitious initiatives we envisaged together nearly two years ago when I joined the company’s leadership, and therefore I have offered my resignation through voluntary redundancy as part of our pact to make cuts at every level of the firm.

I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such generous and esteemed colleagues and artists, and am proud of what we have accomplished in our time together: notably, the launch of a new five-year strategic plan that champions both DEI (diversity/equity/inclusion) and environmental sustainability as integral to the company’s future, the forging of touring partnerships with genre-defying artists Rufus Wainwright and Audra McDonald, the launch of a Creative Services offer to improve our clients’ visibility, and the redeployment of our young artists initiative as the Lies Askonas Fellowship program, which now nurtures 10 extremely talented and diverse musicians.

I will always look back fondly on my experience at Askonas Holt, and will miss my colleagues and our wonderful artists and touring partners greatly. As for what the future holds, it’s hard for many of us to say at this point. However, I remain optimistic that this crisis will instigate some positive changes in our lives and world.



Sean with RBG



  • Robin says:

    Are they slimming their roster?

  • christopher storey says:

    Just how many cliches can you cram into one letter ?

  • Jon says:

    They are closing in Dec anyway from what we’re hearing…