Virgin Group snares GB Olympic Park's O'Byrne for corporate

LONDON: Former UK Department for Culture, Media, and Sport special adviser Victoria O'Byrne will leave the body responsible for the Olympic Park to join Richard Branson's Virgin Group as director of corporate affairs next month.

LONDON: Former UK Department for Culture, Media, and Sport special adviser Victoria O'Byrne will leave the body responsible for the Olympic Park to join Richard Branson's Virgin Group as director of corporate affairs next month.

O’Byrne’s responsibilities will cover communications, government affairs, and policy for Virgin Group, which brings together the brand's various ventures into airlines, holidays, gyms, banking, entertainment, and philanthropy.

For the past three years, she has been director of communications and public affairs for the London Legacy Development Corporation, the body reshaping the Olympic Park – now the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – in the wake of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

Her experience in policy and government communications includes work as special adviser to DCMS minister Tessa Jowell and a stint as head of communications for the Government Olympic Executive in the run-up to the Games.

She has also served as director of communications at Ofsted, director of external affairs at the Institute for Public Policy Research, and director of corporate communications for the Labour Party.

At Virgin Group, it is understood her role will report to director of external relations Nick Fox and will have a reach across Europe and the Middle East.

One source with insight into the hire pointed to her mix of experience, which also includes working at BT, as key for the new role.

"She has a strong blend of corporate and consumer PR experience allied to her work in government, all of which should help her bring the Virgin story into sharper focus," the source said.

Both Virgin Group and the London Legacy Development Corporation declined to comment.

This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK.

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