Macaulay steps down from agency MD role

Sarah Macaulay, MD of Hobsbawm Macaulay Communications and wife of Chancellor Gordon Brown, has stood down from the company, PRWeek can exclusively reveal.

Chairwoman Julia Hobsbawm, who has assumed the new post of CEO with both management and client-handling responsibilities, confirmed Macaulay, who takes her husband's surname within the agency, would not return

to the firm following the expected birth of her first child in February.

As PRWeek went to press, Hobsbawm was informing clients of the plan, agreed at

a meeting on Tuesday. Hobsbawm said: 'This is Sarah's decision but it is one I understand and support.'

Macaulay teamed up with Hobsbawm in 1993, after the pair had worked together for the Labour Party. Macaulay's design company Spirit handled design work for Labour's gala dinners, which were launched by the then Julia Hobsbawm Associates.

HMC has managed to avoid the type of scandals to hit

other PR firms with political links. The agency earned a reputation as Labour's PR firm in the 1990s, but the last work undertaken for the party was before the 1997 election.

Ranked 94th in the PRWeek Top 150, HMC - which has no plans to change its name following Macaulay's departure - has a fee income of £1.2m.

Recent wins include Time and Fortune group (PRWeek, 28 September), and the Royal Shakespeare Society.

In keeping with her low public profile, Macaulay has steered her role away from direct client work in the past couple of years, but oversaw recent work on the King's Fund and the Metropolitan Police.

HMC has been appointed by the Islamic Society of Britain to manage a public awareness campaign in the wake of the

11 September attacks. The brief includes the launch of

the annual Islamic Awareness Week early next month.

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