Medinge Group founder Thomas Gad passes away

Medinge Group is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of its founder, Thomas Gad, at the age of 65, in Stockholm, from cancer.

Thomas was the founder of Brandflight, one of Sweden’s leading branding consultancies, and the author of 4-D Branding (translated into 11 languages), Managing Brand Me, and, most recently, Customer Experience Branding.

Prior to setting up Brandflight, Thomas was the international creative director at Grey Advertising. In 2000, he set up a gathering of the top branding professionals at a location in Medinge, Sweden. Later named Medinge Group, the annual summer event, plus a public meeting each spring, draws some of the world’s best names in branding.

Jack Yan, co-chair of Medinge Group, first joined the summer 2002 meeting. He says, ‘Thomas was one of branding’s great minds, and an adventurer with a love of life. Without Thomas, there would be no Medinge Group, no Beyond Branding and Brands with a Conscience books, and none of the friendships I now enjoy with many of my colleagues. The annual meetings, which were his initiative, gave rise to a sharing of deep, humanistic branding thoughts among colleagues from around the world. We will miss him dearly and our thoughts go out to his wife Annette, who herself is recovering in hospital.’

One of Medinge’s longest-serving members, Medinge Group director Nicholas Ind, says, ‘I first met Thomas when I was working in Stockholm in 2000—he invited me to join him at Medinge in the Swedish countryside to talk about branding. So began a professional and personal relationship that was truly fulfilling. Thomas, and his wife Annette, hosted the annual meetings we had at his house every summer after that with unrivalled generosity. My strongest recollection of those days is not the debates we had or flying with Thomas in his sea plane (even though those are also memorable), but Thomas and Annette sitting at the dinner table in the evenings singing songs, telling jokes and bringing everyone together. Thomas was exceptional in the way he made everyone feel welcome and valued in the group—he will be deeply missed.’

Former Medinge Group CEO Stanley Moss says, ‘Thomas brought his vision and resources to the foundation of Medinge, and served as a critical voice in the international movement for humanistic brands.’

Ian Ryder recalls, ‘As a founding member, and now Honorary Life Member, of Medinge Group I couldn’t possibly let such a sad announcement pass without observation. Thomas was a really bright, intellectually and socially, human being who I first met at the inaugural pre-Medinge group meeting in Amsterdam sixteen years ago. Little did we know then that our band of open-minded, globally experienced brand experts would develop into a superb think-tank based out of Thomas’ home in Medinge, Sweden.

‘For many years he and his lovely wife, Annette, hosted with a big heart, the annual gathering at which he played fabulous host to those of us who made it there. A larger-than-life, clever and successful professional, Thomas will be sorely missed by all those lucky enough to have known him.’

Sergei Mitrofanov, who had worked with Thomas at both Medinge and at Brandflight, says, ‘Thomas Gad has worked a lot with entrepreneurs in emerging markets and it was a great honour for me to be a part of his international team. He spent a lot of time changing business in former Soviet republics teaching managers to think in new way and helping entrepreneurs to build brands with a consciousness. The core idea all the time was that brand should be created by humans, for humans and at the end they will be loved by humans. My sincere condolences to his wife Annette Rosencreutz and his family.’

Medinge Group sends its condolences to Thomas’s family, especially to his wife, Annette Rosencreutz, herself a branding authority and an important part of our organization.

The Medinge GroupMedinge Group founder Thomas Gad passes away

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  • Cristián Saracco - Dec 19, 2016 reply

    May his soul rest in peace, I believe that God will accept him with open arms for all the good he has done while he was on this earth.
    RIP Thomas.

  • Farewell to Thomas Gad: a friend, a colleague, and a uniter « Jack Yan: the Persuader Blog - Dec 19, 2016 reply

    […] Tonight, I had the sad and solemn duty to announce publicly the passing of my friend Thomas Gad.    I’m still waiting for someone to come out and tell me that I have been severely pranked.    Thomas was the founder of what we now call Medinge Group. After working for 17 years at Grey Advertising as an international creative director, Thomas set up Brandflight, a leading branding consultancy HQed in Stockholm. He authored 4-D Branding, Managing Brand Me (with his wife, Annette Rosencreutz), and, most recently, Customer Experience Branding.    In 2000, Thomas seized on an idea: why not gather a bunch of leading brand practitioners at Annette’s family’s villa at Medinge, three hours west of Stockholm, for a bit of R&R, where they could all discuss ideas around the profession?    Nicholas Ind was one of the people at that first meeting. In a statement tonight, Nick wrote, ‘I first met Thomas when I was working in Stockholm in 2000—he invited me to join him at Medinge in the Swedish countryside to talk about branding. So began a professional and personal relationship that was truly fulfilling. Thomas, and his wife Annette, hosted the annual meetings we had at his house every summer after that with unrivalled generosity. My strongest recollection of those days is not the debates we had or flying with Thomas in his sea plane (even though those are also memorable), but Thomas and Annette sitting at the dinner table in the evenings singing songs, telling jokes and bringing everyone together. Thomas was exceptional in the way he made everyone feel welcome and valued in the group—he will be deeply missed.’    I came on the scene in 2002, invited by Chris Macrae. The event had become international the year before. Thomas and Annette made me feel incredibly at home at Medinge, and we had an incredibly productive meeting. By the end of it we had some principles around branding, the idea for a book (which became Beyond Branding), and a desire to formalize ourselves into an organization. The meeting at Medinge would soon become the Medinge Group (the definite article was part of our original name), and we had come to represent brands with a conscience: the idea that brands could do good, and that business could be humane and humanistic. This came about in an environment of real change: Enron, which had been given awards for supposedly doing good, had been exposed as fraudulent; there was a generation of media-savvy young people who could see through the BS and were voting and buying based on causes they supported; and inequality was on the rise, something that the late Economist editor, Norman Macrae (Chris’s Dad) even then called humankind’s most pressing concern. If everything is a product of its time, then that was true of us; and the issues that we care about the most are still with us, and changes to the way we do business are needed more now than ever.    This is Thomas’s legacy: Medinge Group is an incorporated company with far more members worldwide, holding two meetings per annum: the annual summer retreat in Sweden, and a public event every spring, with the next in Sevilla. The public events, and the Brands with a Conscience awards held in the 2000s, came about during Stanley Moss’s time as CEO. Stanley wrote this morning, ‘Thomas brought his vision and resources to the foundation of Medinge, and served as a critical voice in the international movement for humanistic brands.’ We continue today to spread that vision.    We have now been robbed far too early of two of our talents: Colin Morley, in the 7-7 bombings in London in 2005; and, now, Thomas, taken by cancer at age 65. My thoughts go to Annette and to the entire family. […]

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