ntl axes corporate comms director post after a year

Cable group ntl has axed its director of corporate communications post just a year after it was created.

ntl confirmed Tim Ryan's redundancy this week as PR director Alison Kirkwood took control of the PR and media relations function.

Ryan's departure marks the latest senior executive to leave the group since it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection two months ago.

ntl's comms division suffered redundancies in 2001, losing five staff, but remained largely unscathed throughout last year's overhaul, which saw over 40 jobs slashed in the marketing division alone (PRWeek, 18 January 2002).

Ryan's redundancy comes two months after the departure of ntl managing director Stephen Carter to become the inaugural CEO of Ofcom, the super regulator for the comms sector. Carter was instrumental in creating the role of director of corporate comms at ntl.

By coincidence, Ofcom is now recruiting for its first director of corporate comms, but it is not believed Ryan is as yet in the frame for that job.

Ryan said his departure was amicable: 'With the re-capitalisation now successfully behind us and with comms having played a fairly major part in that success, I felt the time was right to move on.'

He added that he will remain in the corporate comms sector, but is not moving directly into a new post.

Kirkwood will report to ntl chief executive Barclay Knapp, as will the internal comms director Sue Dewhurst, regulatory affairs director Alex Blowers and public affairs director Roger Lowry.

'We have a strong comms team - we have worked this way in the past, as a group and reporting directly to the CEO and that's the way we'll be doing it going forward,' she said.

The ntl team comprises the four divisional heads, alongside 11 PR staff split between the three business units: business, broadcast and home.

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