Cable giant NTL has lost its second senior PRO in a week. Following the announcement that public policy chief Alison Ryan is leaving to become communications director at Manchester United (PR Week, 22 Sept), head of public affairs Will Robson has been poached by Cambridge Positioning Systems.
NTL's PR chief, Alison Kirkwood, denied the departure of Ryan and Robson created a staffing crisis.
'Their leaving together is purely coincidental,' she said. Replacements are being sought for both posts.
According to Kirkwood, Ryan reported to the public policy unit, while Robson's duties will be covered with assistance from the other senior PR head of departments, and from NTL's four agencies, Hill and Knowlton, Buchanan Communications, Lexis PR and Nelson Bostock Communications.
NTL has recruited Malcolm Padley from Lexis PR as head of media relations.
The arrival of COO Stephen Carter from J Walter Thompson is expected to signal an expansion across all communications departments.
'Stephen Carter is very strong and committed to marketing and I am sure he will help NTL achieve its business aims,' Kirkwood said.
Robson oversaw NTL's takeover bids of football clubs and cable TV rights of sports for on-line, cable and digital broadcasts.
At CPS, a leading provider of mobile location services and technology, he becomes director of communications and will oversee its flotation next year.
Robson reports to CEO Chris Wade. 'I will be seeking to expand the PR team immediately ready for a huge operation to oversee the new series of mobile applications by 2001. I expect to expand staff numbers globally in time,' he said.