Charles Barker, the PR firm which rose from the ashes of Corporate
Communications four years ago, has promoted head of corporate PR Tim
Sutton to chief executive in a major overhaul of its board.
Sutton, one of five directors of the consultancy, takes over day-to-day
management responsibility from Angela Heylin, who has filled the roles
of both chairman and chief executive since its formation as a management
buy-out in August 1992.
Heylin said she would spend more time on her existing clients, which
include Saatchi and Saatchi, BUPA and Severn Trent as well as building
up new business. However, she revealed her intention to step back from
the business saying she hoped to go part-time later in the year.
Other changes announced this week include the appointment of Jennifer
Potter, formerly a director in Charles Barker’s consumer marketing
division, as deputy chief executive with specific responsibility for
developing international business. Heylin said she had decided to split
the chief executive’s job because it was ‘too big for one person if that
person continues to service clients’ - as Sutton will.
In a seperate move, Steve Gebbett, managing director of the consumer
marketing division, is to form his own operating board.
Sutton said this was thought necessary because of the size of the
business, which represents around half the PR agency’s income.
Two new additions to the main board are Nan Williams, who replaces
Sutton as head of the corporate division and Dick Lumsden, managing
director of the agency’s newly-established contract publishing division.
Sutton presented the changes as a deliberate attempt to clear the log-
jam at the top of the company and to ‘liberate the potential’ of its
‘The biggest threat to a public relations comnsultancy apart from
failure is success,’ said Sutton.
‘When you have a good business the temptation is to sit back and not
look to the future of the company.’