Hotwire UK chief Drew Benvie and MD Giles Peddy exit agency

Hotwire's UK chief executive, Drew Benvie, and deputy managing director Giles Peddy are exiting the agency in separate moves.

Moving on: Hotwire’s Drew Benvie and Giles Peddy
Moving on: Hotwire’s Drew Benvie and Giles Peddy

Benvie departs tomorrow and will shortly launch his own agency, while Peddy is leaving at the end of month for a senior role at Lewis PR.

Hotwire group CEO Brendon Craigie told PRWeek there were no plans to replace the pair directly, due to the strength of the agency’s existing management team.

Benvie, who founded Hotwire’s digital offshoot 33 Digital in 2009, has been Hotwire’s UK chief since 2011.

His new agency, Battenhall, opened its doors on 8 March and will focus on social media and PR. It launches with three UK clients and five staff, none of which comes from Hotwire.

Benvie told PRWeek Battenhall will be a ‘comms agency for the social media economy,’ and a new way of providing comms support to brands. He added that ‘the agency model is ripe for disruption’.

Benvie said he had ‘optimistic’ plans to make Battenhall, which will be based in offices opposite Google’s Tech City Campus in the Shoreditch area of east London, ‘the next great agency’.

Peddy is taking the new role of group managing director of Lewis PR’s UK operations, reporting directly to CEO and founder Chris Lewis.

He will oversee a client portfolio that includes Good Technology, HCL, iRobot and Pret A Manger, drive growth in the UK market and work closely with regional heads across EMEA, US and APAC.

Benvie worked at Hotwire from 2001 to 2003, before returning in 2007 to lead its digital practice. Peddy joined Hotwire in 2007 to head IT and services practice, becoming deputy MD at the beginning of 2012.

Craigie wished the pair ‘all the best in their new ventures’ after eight-and-a-half years at the agency for Benvie and six years for Peddy.

Hotwire’s UK managing director, Alex MacLaverty, and 33 Digital managing director Peter Sigrist will now report directly to Craigie. Emma Hazan’s role as deputy MD is unaffected.

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