Taaffe to take reins as Huntsworth CEO in April

The former Hill & Knowlton CEO and Groupon comms leader is set to become chief executive of Huntsworth in April, replacing the retiring Lord Chadlington.

LONDON: Huntsworth has named former Hill & Knowlton chief Paul Taaffe as its CEO.

He will join the company in April 2015, replacing Lord Chadlington, who will move on to the client-facing role of group senior adviser with a focus on accounts in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific. Chadlington announced his plans to retire earlier this year.

"For the last 14 years, Lord Chadlington has made an immense contribution to Huntsworth, and I am delighted that his experience and contacts will continue to be available to our existing and potential clients," said Huntsworth chairman Derek Mapp, in a statement.

Taaffe has served as director of communications at Groupon since 2012, taking the job nearly 13 months after he resigned as global chairman and CEO of Hill & Knowlton. He was based in New York for the role at Groupon, reporting to the company’s CMO.

In early 2011, Taaffe resigned from H&K just days after MaryLee Sachs, former chair and director of the worldwide marketing communications practice, said she was leaving the firm. The prior November, H&K merged with sister WPP agency Public Strategies.

Jack Martin was named global chairman and CEO of H&K, soon to be rebranded as Hill+Knowlton Strategies, after Taaffe’s resignation.

Taaffe was appointed worldwide president of the firm in 1998.

During his time as H&K’s chief executive, Taaffe was a regular on PRWeek’s annual Power List rankings. He has also held roles at Unilever, Weber Shandwick, and Reginald Watts and Associates.

Taaffe could not be immediately reached for comment.

Huntsworth also said on Monday that Sally Withey, COO and finance director, will step down from her role at the end of the year. Brian Porritt, interim finance director, will continue in that role until Huntsworth’s board finds a permanent replacement.

This story was updated on December 22.

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