Revenue & Customs hires BBC internal comms boss

HM Revenue & Customs, the government department created this April by the merger of the Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise, has poached BBC head of internal comms Russell Grossman.

Grossman will join HMRC next January as head of internal communications.

In six years at the BBC he built the internal comms arm from a team of three to 30 staff and helped steer the corporation through the Hutton Inquiry.

The HMRC has around 100,000 employees, but must shed 20 per cent by 2008 as part of the reform of the civil service.

'As long as you keep people informed and involved you can keep people motivated, particularly when (job cuts) happen over a long period of time,' Grossman told PRWeek.

When he joins the 32-strong internal comms department, Grossman will report to director of communications Chris Hopson - the former director of public affairs at the Granada Media Group - and work closely with HMRC chairman David Varney.

'This will involve helping to merge two different departments, both with very strong heritage, and working for the new director, who is not of the civil service mould,' said Grossman.

'Arriving at this early stage of the HMRC development also gives me the opportunity to mould the function,' he added.

Before the BBC, Grossman was Royal Mail director of comms, PR manager for the Jubilee Line extension and head of information at the London Docklands Development Corporation.

- Public sector feature, p27.

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