Eurostar signs PR chief Mary Walsh ahead of corporate rethink

Cross-channel train operator loses respected comms director Montague after three years.

Corporate rethink: Eurostar
Corporate rethink: Eurostar

Eurostar is set to usher in a new communications chief as it prepares for a major corporate restructuring.

The high-speed train operator is to lose its respected director of comms Simon Montague at the end of October. He will be replaced by Lloyds' former group director of corporate relations Mary Walsh.

The moves come as the company faces one of its most significant periods of change to date, with its train routes being opened up to other operators in 2010.

In advance of this, Eurostar is undertaking a major corporate restructuring, which will see it become the first pan-European train group able to operate in every European country.

Montague's replacement, Mary Walsh, left Lloyds after ten years in May 2008, shortly before the bank's merger with HBOS. Since then, she has been consulting at various companies, including Barclays, Polhill Consultants and currently Prudential. She started her career at Ogilvy, and has also been director of PR for accountancy and business adviser firm PKF.

Former BBC man Montague has been at the cross-channel train operator for three and a half years. He masterminded the successful switch from Eurostar's Waterloo base to the new St Pancras International station and scooped the gong for private sector department of the year at last year's PRWeek Awards.

He is moving to Madrid with his family, after his wife was offered the CEO position for luxury brand Loewe.

'I have had a fantastic time at Eurostar,' he said. 'We carried out a seamless overnight move to St Pancras, and established the brand as one of national relevance and as one of the leading green business in the UK.'

Following the move to St Pancras, Eurostar traveller numbers rocketed by 21 per cent and revenues were up by 25 per cent.

EUROSTAR PR FACTS

Eurostar has a 12-strong internal and external communications team, based in the UK, France and Belgium.

The Eurostar comms team scooped the private sector department of the year gong at the 2009 PRWeek Awards.

The firm retains Open Road communications for public affairs and uses Freud Communications on project briefs for consumer PR.

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