Motorola comms hit by fourth exit in two months

Ailing mobile phone giant Motorola has been hit by the departure of yet another senior communicator with the exit of its European director of comms.

Rachael Laird (née Sampson) is to join the publisher Random House Group as group comms director late next month. She will report to the chairman and chief executive Gail Rebuck.

Laird, a former board dir­ector at Consolidated, quit as director of comms Europe for Motorola Mobile Devices just nine months after taking up the post (PRWeek, 8 September, 2006).

Motorola reported a £90m loss for the first quarter of this year. Laird’s exit comes just one month after PRWeek revealed Motorola director of comms EMEA Mark Durrant’s decision to join rival firm Nokia as director of comms, strategy and technology (PRWeek, 22 May).

Durrant’s deputy Chris Bignell also left recently to set up his own consultancy (PRWeek, 27 April) and the firm’s European marketing director Simon Thompson quit two months ago.

Laird said: ‘Motorola is a fantastic company. However, recent results and the departure of heavy hitters such as Mark Durrant mean it is not the most proactive environment to work in right now.’

At Random House, Laird replaces Clare Harington, who is to join consumer book publisher Hachette Livre UK in September as its head of comms.

Random House is currently preparing to publish Alastair Campbell’s diaries recounting life working with Prime Minister Tony Blair as his director of communications.

The Blair Years is due to be published on July 9 – less than two weeks after Blair hands the keys to Number 10 to Gordon Brown.

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