Hotwire's George-Hilley launches Centropy to challenge agency 'burn-and-churn model'

Hotwire board director Steven George-Hilley has left the company after four years to found his own rival tech agency, Centropy.

George-Hilley led Hotwire's 26-strong IT and services practice in London for the past two years, during which time he says the team doubled in size. Prior to this he worked for Weber Shandwick and Lewis.

He left the consultancy yesterday (Monday), and today opens the doors of Centropy, which is based in Richmond, south-west London, and has two staff in addition to the founder himself.

George-Hilley's launch comes a week after two executives in Hotwire's New York office announced their new agency, SourceCode Communications. Hotwire itself has seen a number of changes in the past year, with a major acquisition in the US, and a new CEO and COO.

Centropy launches with three retained clients, which were not disclosed. The agency will specialise in b2b tech and fintech.

George-Hilley told PRWeek: "Centropy is a truly independent agency that will challenge the establishment’s burn-and-churn model, investing heavily in our employees at all levels and relentlessly promoting meritocracy.

"Many mid-level PR professionals feel they are treated as little more than cash cows by their respective agencies and we’re going to put a stop to this. Good leaders recognise that they don’t have all the answers. Our model will enable every single employee to have a say on the direction and culture of the agency, through forums, dialogue sessions, not to mention filling in my appraisal twice a year."

George-Hilley, who sits on the board of think-tank Parliament Street and has previously been on the committee of the Conservative Party's technology forum, said Centropy was a "policy savvy agency" that could help clients to navigate uncertainties such as Brexit and the challenge of cyber security threats.

On the choice of agency name, George-Hilley said centropy "means the electrification of matter, bringing creative renewal and turning disorder into order", commenting: "It's the opposite of the better-known term entropy and represents our services and reflects the sector we are targeting."

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