Clarke survives comms cull as Andersen UK/D&T merge

Andersen head of PR Paul Clarke has been confirmed as the only comms team survivor as the accountancy firm's UK arm merges with Deloitte & Touche.

After weeks of speculation on the future of the firm's PR team, it has been revealed that just Clarke will remain with the merged company.

The exact position that he will take up is not likely to be known until the end of the month. However, Clark said this week that he is likely to be moving to a 'parallel role' to that which he currently occupies within Andersen.

Clark will join the ten-strong UK PR team at Deloitte & Touche, currently led by head of press Emma Thorogood and overseen by marketing and communications partner David Thorley.

The Deloitte & Touche press team was reshuffled early last year following the retirement of then PR head George Westropp (PRWeek, 1 December 2000).

According to Thorogood, no formal progress on the integration of the two firms will be made until the EU's Competition Commission approves the merger. Previous cases suggest that it is likely to be mid-June before a decision is reached.

She admitted that there are currently vacancies within Deloitte & Touche that may be suitable for Clark, but refused to be drawn on the precise nature of the roles.

'At the moment there are a number of vacancies across the board in the marketing department. It's not my place to go into details of the positions but I can confirm that they are at various levels of seniority,' she added.

Under the terms of the deal, partners and staff of Andersen UK will join Deloitte & Touche, if regulatory approval is forthcoming.

Andersen UK managing partner John Ormerod and Deloitte & Touche CEO/senior partner John Connolly sealed a deal to merge Andersen staff into Deloitte & Touche last month.

The deal extends across all of Andersen UK's business practices and numerous support staff, and follows similar agreements in other countries, including Brazil, Mexico, Spain and Portugal.

In April, Andersen UK announced that at least 1,500 of its 5,000 UK staff were to be axed, just days after the US arm said it would shed 7,000 staff.

Most job losses have occurred among support staff.

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