When Gerard Kleisterlee left Philips in 2011 a book was commissioned as a parting gift; and I was asked to write it. For the content I interviewed all sorts of people whose lives had intersected with his; his wife, his personal assistant, CEOs of other leading multinationals, colleagues past & present, and friends. We also gathered input from neighbours, his children, his chauffeur, business associates, old rowing buddies, an early mentor. And we did an incredible amount of digging in official archives, on-line databases, relevant websites and in magazines and newspapers from all over the world.
The result was a 140-page book full of anecdotes and insights about the man. The theme of the book is the Mille Miglia, an Italian classic car road race which Kleisterlee took part in. I worked on it together with a whole team put together by Ally Cane at Philips Design - creative directors, art director, designers, project managers, layout artists and a freelance researcher. The whole thing took something like 14 weeks from the kick-off meeting to having the first printed copies thump down on the floor.