BAE hires Lambkin as PR chief Colver quits

Defence industry veteran Hugh Colver is stepping down as communications chief at BAE Systems, with Bell Pottinger Corporate & Financial’s 32-year-old director Charlotte Lambkin taking his place at Europe’s largest defence firm.

Lambkin has dramatically reneged on an agreement to join retail bank Standard Chartered as head of media relations (PRWeek, 15 September) and becomes group director of comms at BAE on 6 December.

Colver is returning to his work as an independent consultant for the company after five years in BAE’s top comms role. His career includes a number of spells at the MoD and a stint as director of public affairs at British Aerospace Defence.

Lambkin’s appointment is understood to have been the decision of CEO Mike Turner, for whom Lambkin has managed the BAE account since February 2003.

Colver said he had never intended to serve more than five years as BAE head of comms and had informed management of his decision to return to independent consultancy two weeks ago.

Lambkin was unavailable for comment.

At BAE, Lambkin will be in overall charge of the company’s comms teams around the world and will be directly in charge of two four-strong teams run by head of news Richard Coltart and head of brands and company promotion Sarah Hirsh.

Head of internal communications Stephen Windsor-Lewis, director of IR Andy Wraphall and lobbying chief Julian Scopes report separately to Turner.

BAE was embroiled in controversy earlier this month when BBC 2’s Money Programme alleged the company used a £60m slush fund to bribe Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki bin Nasser to help seal a billion-pound

al-Yamamah arms deal with the kingdom.

BAE said it has ‘completely dismissed’ the allegations.

The company reported a 4.5 per cent hike in operating profits for the first six months of 2004. First-half earnings rose to £486m from £465m in 2003.

Standard Chartered said Lambkin’s decision not to take its head of media relations role would not affect its corporate affairs expansion. The bank has restarted recruiting for the role.

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