Microsoft raids WS to fill public affairs post

Microsoft has plundered Westminster Strategy for its first UK government relations chief.

Microsoft has plundered Westminster Strategy for its first UK

government relations chief.



Matthew Lambert, director of Westminster Strategy and managing director

of its Brussels arm, European Strategy, leaves on 12 November, joining

its Reading office two weeks later (PR Week, 8 October).



Lambert, 36, admitted it would be a tough job, but said: ’I am up for

it.’ Over the coming months he will have to ’take a fresh look at how

Microsoft handles its government relations’.



Lambert would not go into the details of his new role, beyond saying:

’The intention is to handle public affairs in a more organised way.’



He will report to John Frank, the Paris-based European and legal affairs

chief, and will work closely with UK chairman David Svendsen, who will

continue to play a large role in Microsoft’s public affairs

strategy.



August.One is Microsoft’s retained public affairs agency.



Lambert joined Westminster Strategy a year ago, after ten years with

European Public Policy Associates.



Westminster Strategy has had to reorganise in the wake of Lambert’s

poaching.



Managing director Michael Burrell will take overall control of the BT

account, which Lambert was credited with winning last year.



Another director, Leighton Andrews, will take over on the Mars business,

although Burrell will have overall responsibility. Burrell said he had

not decided whether to replace Lambert directly in the UK.



In Brussels, European Strategy deputy managing director Maurits Bruggink

has been promoted to succeed him.



Westminster Strategy has lost three other key players in the past six

months: deputy managing director Mike Lee, who quit to go freelance,

consultant Tom Engel, now special adviser to Education and Employment

Secretary David Blunkett, and consultant James Sheward, who left

forSevern Trent Water.



Burrell was sanguine about the departures. He said: ’It’s a great

tribute to us that the people here are of the quality to fill these

kinds of jobs. I have little doubt that what goes around comes around.’



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