Weber Shandwick exodus continues with two more senior departures

Written by David Singleton on 31 August 2018 in News

Exclusive: Sarah Richardson and Kate Shouesmith are the latest to leave.

Weber Shandwick has been rocked by two more senior departures, with deputy public affairs chief Kate Shouesmith and corporate boss Sarah Richardson both walking out.

The latest departures come two months after the agency’s head of public affairs Joey Jones quit the agency to join Cicero Consulting. His departure was hot on the heels of the exit of corporate, financial and public affairs chairman Jon McLeod, who is now at Brunswick.

Now Shouesmith has joined McLeod at Brunswick, taking the role of associate. She moved to Weber Shandwick in 2017 after holding a number of senior jobs in Downing Street from 2011 to 2016. Most recently, she was deputy director for external relations in Number 10. She also had a stint as private secretary to the prime minister’s chief of staff Ed Llewellyn and went on to be a special adviser to the prime minister’s wife, Samantha Cameron.
Meanwhile Richardson’s departure is inconvenient for Weber Shandwick as she was only hired four and a half months ago to run its corporate practice. Richardson - who is married to Conservative MP and culture, media and sport select committee chair Damian Collins - previously spent five years in Edelman’s public affairs team before joining Centrica as director of public affairs in 2014.
She was appointed to take on the new role of managing director in Weber Shandwick’s corporate practice, reporting into UK CEO Rachel Friend and working alongside McLeod who called her “a unique and landmark hire for Weber Shandwick”.
Weber Shandwick UK CEO Rachel Friend confirmed that Richardson had resigned from Weber Shandwick for personal reasons.
She told PAN: “During her time here Sarah has grown on the success of the corporate practice with some impressive new client wins, cutting a dash with her innovative and strategic approach to big creative campaigns and bringing her wider knowledge to her consultancy. We wish her well on her next adventure.”
A Weber Shandwick spokesperson did not comment on Shouesmith. The agency has now appointed Anthony Marlowe as interim managing director of corporate and public affairs. 

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