Blythe will be based in the agency’s West End office as an associate director to ‘focus on corporate comms in the widest sense of the word’, according to chief executive Gordon Beattie.
‘This is an opportunity to do a broader range of work,’ said Blythe, adding that the split from Merlin, where he was a director, was amicable.
After seven years as a Whitehall PRO, Blythe spent five years at NatWest as deputy media relations director. He was also director of corporate affairs at Dairy Crest, before stints at WH Smith and Rolls-Royce.
Blythe’s arrival is Beattie’s third senior hire of the year, following the appointment of Cairns & Associates MD Ann Cunnane to head its London consumer PR team and Barclay Stratton account director Caroline Shepperson as an associate director.
‘We need to strengthen the team, not just in numbers but in recruiting very senior people,’ said Beattie. ‘I am speaking to others that I’d like to bring on board.’
Despite the loss of accounts, such as Hewlett-Packard and security giant ADT, Beattie claimed new business was booming, with recent wins including a remit for hair and beauty chain Saks and a malaria awareness campaign for GlaxoSmithKline.
‘The current financial year will be our best in terms of profits and I’m using that to invest in the business. There is a lot of potential business out there,’ he said.