Press head leaves Laing for role at rival Skanska

Engineering and building firm Laing has lost Andy Geldard, one of

its last remaining in-house PROs.



Geldard is leaving his role as head of press and communications,

reporting directly to Laing CEO Brian May, to join rival contractor

Skanska.



According to industry sources, Laing is not looking to appoint a new

group PR boss until the sell-off of its construction arm to O'Rourke is

completed during the summer.



The decision would leave Laing without any in-house PR capability at

group level and just two press officers in the home division. The

construction division also lacks any in-house PR team - a division which

has dwindled from around ten staff to nil over the last 15 years.



Laing finance director Adrian Ewer said: 'Construction had an in-house

PR team, but that was when it was at the heart of the group and it no

longer is.'



It is believed Laing's external PR agencies Christow Consultants and

City Profile will handle all media enquiries in the meantime.



At Skanska, Geldard will lead UK and international press, reporting to

head of press and publicity Cheryl Eaton. He replaces Kris Birkett in

the role, which has been expanded from solely handling trade press to

include all media, in particular international press.



Eaton said Geldard's title had yet to be decided as a result of the

change in brief.



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