Beattie takes on Kevin Roberts following Saatchi & Saatchi sexism storm

Kevin Roberts, who left ad group Saatchi & Saatchi last summer after comments made about gender diversity, has joined UK comms group Beattie as chair.

Roberts resigned from his role at the Publicis Groupe agency on 1 September, prior to his scheduled retirement in May this year.

That hasty departure followed negative coverage of an interview he gave with Business Insider in which he said of the question of women in leadership positions that "the fucking debate is over". Roberts later said he had been taken out of context.

According to a Beattie press release, Roberts will "coach the senior team and help grow Beattie and its Only brands internationally".

Laurna Woods, CEO of Beattie Group, said: "We are delighted to have recruited one of the world’s most inspirational business minds to help us expand in the UK, North America and Australasia."

Roberts said: "Beattie is a creative communications consultancy with enormous potential to grow internationally. We are an integrated marketing and communications company with foundations in PR, marketing, creativity, content, technology and data. We have no plans to become a traditional advertising agency."

Beattie has eight offices in the UK, and opened a business in Canada in June last year. It trades under three headline brands – PR and creative comms brand Beattie, student recruitment brand 11ten and its specialist brands under the Only umbrella.

Other 2016 highlights include making a senior hire from Mondelez, and opening a new studio and training facility in Falkirk, Scotland.

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