Inmarsat rings agency and comms team changes

Satellite communications provider Inmarsat has shaken up its international agency roster following a restructure of its comms team and company structure.

Inmarsat's Chris McLaughlin: expanded role
Inmarsat's Chris McLaughlin: expanded role

Chris McLaughlin, the vice-president of external affairs, has added marcoms to his responsibilities following the departure of vice-president of marcoms Cynthia Ritchie.

McLaughlin told PRWeek that the agency review reflected the UK-listed company’s reorganisation from a regional-led structure to a business unit-led structure.

‘We found we had new needs because we focused on a business unit strategy in a reorganisation about a year ago and so the business units have their own further focus on PR support,’ McLaughlin told PRWeek.

Bell Pottinger has been retained for European corporate work, but has lost its UK public affairs brief to its former chairman Peter Bingle’s firm Terrapin.

In addition, Inmarsat has engaged a European public affairs agency based in Brussels, Fipra, which is a partner organisation of Finsbury.

Grayling has been awarded work for the aero business unit, which is focused on the needs of airline and aerospace clients, and the military and government unit. It will work with Environics, a specialist US government relations agency, in the US.

Inmarsat’s regional roster remains unchanged, including Asda’a Burson-Marsteller in Dubai, Rice Communications in Singapore, GK Communications in New York covering the US and Jeffrey Group in Miami covering Latin America.

The changes to McLaughlin’s team include Jonathan Sinnatt’s interim role as head of communications becoming permanent and a fresh remit for head of digital Clive Parish.

‘Clive has a new brief to focus on [proactive] content provision, an area we realise we have under-invested in,’ McLaughlin said.

The comms team has just completed an upgrade of the company intranet following a series of acquisitions and is now planning for two major satellite launches: Alphasat in July and Global Xpress towards the end of the year.

McLaughlin credited Bingle with being ‘instrumental’ in gaining regional development agency funding for Alphasat's digital processor while at Bell Pottinger.

McLaughlin now reports directly to the chief executive, Rupert Pearce, who succeeded Andrew Sukawaty last year.

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