Chandler takes top job at Quiller as James steps down
Corporate PR man Jonathan Chandler will head up the traditionally Tory agency.
Quiller CEO Howell James is leaving the lobbying agency and will be replaced by partner and Jonathan Chandler.
James, a former political secretary to John Major, joined the Huntworth-owned consultancy in 2014 from his role as global head of corporate communications at Christies.
The Tory lobbyist is now set to embark on “a portfolio career as a non-exec and advisor”, according to Huntsworth sources. He has already been appointed as Chairman of the Arts Foundation.
He will continue to be an advisor to Quiller and act as “an ambassador” for the firm.
Chandler will succeed James as CEO from October 1, having joined the agency in January this year to spearhead a move into corporate PR.
Quiller is known as a high-level Tory-led lobbying shop which was especially influential in the early days of David Cameron’s leadership, when senior Tory operators Jonathan Hill and George Bridges were both on the books.
Both Hill and Bridges were subsequently given life peerages and ministerial jobs under Cameron’s prime ministership.
While Quiller has historically been headed up by a senior Tory operator, Chandler is a corporate PR heavyweight rather than a political big-hitter.
He previously spent seven years as a partner at the PR firm ReputationInc. He has also held senior international in-house roles at The Coca-Cola Company, Eastman Kodak and British Airways.
In a statement reflecting the shift in emphasis, Chandler said: “Quiller is ideally placed to provide the integrated solutions clients need to address critical public policy, reputation and commercial issues.
“We have a great senior team and an outstanding track record. I’m delighted that we will be able to continue to draw from Howell’s wisdom and experience.”
James said: “It's been a tremendous three years working on some fascinating projects with impressive clients and colleagues; I’ve enjoyed every minute. In handing over to Jon Chandler, I know he will bring his trademark energy and dynamism to the role. I wish Jon the very best and look forward to supporting him.”