BA to fill void left by Walker’s Palace role

British Airways is looking to appoint a director of communications to fill the void created by the secondment of incumbent Simon Walker to Buckingham Palace.

British Airways is looking to appoint a director of communications

to fill the void created by the secondment of incumbent Simon Walker to

Buckingham Palace.



Walker joins the Palace as communications secretary to the Royal Family

in September. His time there will last just over two years, culminating

in the celebrations for the Queen’s golden jubilee in 2002.



Walker will lead a ten-strong team handling PR for all of the immediate

royal family apart from Prince Charles, who has a separate press team at

St James’s Palace, with whom Walker will work closely.



Walker is currently arranging a series of meetings with Court

correspondents and staff from the royal household, and admits that he

has ’a lot to learn about my new role’.



Officially, BA said that no decision had been taken on appointing

Walker’s successor, but the airline is thought to be looking at external

candidates to fill one of the most prestigious posts in corporate

PR.



Walker’s close relationship with BA’s recently-ousted CEO Bob Ayling led

to speculation that a replacement would be appointed who was close to

Ayling’s successor Rod Eddington. This is now thought unlikely as

Eddington, an Australian, is understood to value highly contacts with

the UK media.



A former partner at Brunswick, Walker worked on the BA account at the

agency before joining the airline in 1998. In 1996, he spent a year on

secondment at Downing Street as a policy adviser to former Prime

Minister John Major.



At Buckingham Palace, he will replace Simon Lewis, who returns next

month to Centrica, from which he joined the Palace two years ago.



South African Walker’s career began in New Zealand as a television

reporter for TVNZ. He went on to work as director of communications for

the country’s Labour party, after which he set up his own PR and

lobbying agency, Communicor.



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