The move comes just days after Edelman announced it had appointed Weber Shandwick UK joint CEO David Brain to a newly created role of European CEO (PRWeek, 19 September).
As reported on prweek.com (19 September), Thellusson said his venture will specialise in corporate and B2B marketing. He has already secured central London premises.
Stuart Smith, Edelman deputy CEO and executive director of corporate, technology and interactive services, and Nigel Breakwell, the firm’s health director and managing director of global operations, health, will jointly take over Thellusson’s duties.
Both have been appointed joint general managers of the London business, reporting to Brain and European COO Hugh Gillanders.
Although Smith and Breakwell’s exact responsibilities have yet to be decided, the creation of the joint London GM role is a reversal of the structural changes brought in by former international operations president Alison Canning. She left Edelman in July after strategy disagreements with group CEO Richard Edelman (PR Week, 18 July).
Thellusson joined Edelman from the company’s crisis PR subsidiary First&42nd in July last year, and is on gardening leave until March next year.
He said his decision to leave was made after Canning’s departure and was not connected to the appointment of Brain.
‘Frankly, I took the UK position because I didn’t want a European job, so if the line is that I am in some way pissed off about David’s appointment then I can say, categorically, that is not the case,’ said Thellusson.
He added that the appointment of Brain had, in fact, almost tempted him to stay.