Prof John Simpson leaves UCT for Red & Yellow

PRESS RELEASE: 14 December, 2017

Professor John Simpson, Emeritus Professor and former Head of UCT’s School of Management Studies – which included the highly respected Business Science Degree – has joined the Red & Yellow School as Head of the Management Studies faculty.

A stunning move to private education, informed by his conviction that tertiary institutions must continuously innovate and adapt to a digital world, increasingly driven by artificial intelligence. An ethos reflected by Red & Yellow’s recent repositioning from the much-loved and revered “School of Logic and Magic” to the “Creative School of Business”, with its single-minded purpose to develop talented people and give them the career skills they need to thrive in this new reality.

Prof Simpson believes that Red & Yellow School has the correct approach to producing graduates who have the relevant theory, practical skills and understanding of human behaviour to be highly effective leaders, within organisations or as entrepreneurs. Each programme and course encourages students to think, question, and identify problems, then generate solutions in a creative way.

In addition to on-campus, online and executive training formats, Red & Yellow’s four integrated faculties – Management Studies, Marketing, Creative Production and Human Studies – give it the edge over its competitors.

As Prof Simpson says: “Future successful managers will have to be strategic in their thinking and decision making; they will need to be familiar with all aspects of business, as well as political, cultural, and technological advances. They will be expected to understand these elements and apply creative thinking to innovate – for an existing product or process, or new opportunity or gap in the market. Solving business problems in the future will look different and have different boundaries to those we know today.”

Red & Yellow stands firmly behind the idea that creative thinking is the most critical skill required to be successful in the 21st Century – as individuals and organisations.

Rob Stokes, Chairman of Red & Yellow and founder of digital powerhouse Quirk, which was sold to London-listed WPP in 2014, welcomes the profound input that Prof Simpson will provide. He comments, “As South Africa’s first Creative School of Business, it is our duty to equip students with the commercial logic to grow successful organisations and the creative magic to set them apart. Having an academic leader like Prof. Simpson join our team gives us another very powerful arrow in our quiver to deliver on this commitment to our students.”


About John Simpson

John Simpson has a BSc in Psychology, MBA and PhD in Consumer Behaviour. He is an Emeritus Professor and has been the Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Director of the Graduate School of Business, Head of the School of Management Studies at UCT and was the founding Director of the prestigious UCT Unilever Institute of Strategic Management