Weber Shandwick get creative - but not with UK public affairs
Did Weber Shandwick bosses get distracted from sorting out their public affairs problems in London?
In the last six months, Weber’s Shandwick’s UK public affairs operation has experienced a horrific hollowing-out. First public affairs and corporate chair Jon McLeod left and is now at Brunswick. Then head of public affairs Joey Jones made a dash for the exit door, with deputy Kate Shouesmith following a few weeks later. For good measure, former Centrica public affairs chief (and wife of Tory MP Damian Collins) Sarah Richardson also recently quit after just four months.
At first rival lobbyists were refusing to write them off. “I expect they will bounce back. They’ll look to hire a few big hitters to get back in the game… the market is too good for them not too,” one rival lobbyist told PAN’s editor over lunch back in June.
But four months later there are still no signs of Weber Shandwick plugging the gaps at the top of the once-mighty UK lobbying operation. Instead bosses appear to have been busy with a new management consultancy they have just launched in New York.
Apparently, United Minds will employ just over 60 people in offices in North America and Europe. It will "help C-suite executives deliver positive, lasting change by combining data-fueled strategy and creative communications solutions".
The new arm of Weber will be headed up by a certain Kate Bullinger who explained that "what we are doing is tapping into the creative people, the government relations people, and the breadth of Weber Shandwick’s capacities and what the firm does well, which is engagement.”
Mr Stakeholder wishes Ms Bullinger the best of luck when it comes to “tapping in” to the UK government relations people…