INTERNATIONAL: Car components giant Valeo names new comms head

PARIS: French car components giant Valeo has selected Simon Gillham as its new communications head. The move comes as the company seeks to raise its profile on the world stage.

PARIS: French car components giant Valeo has selected Simon Gillham

as its new communications head. The move comes as the company seeks to

raise its profile on the world stage.



Valeo is the fifth largest maker of car parts worldwide and is one of

the CAC 40 companies - France’s equivalent of the FTSE 100.



Gillham will report to Valeo chairman Noel Goutard, and oversee a

seven-strong team covering external and internal communications. He

replaces Denis Berthu, who left at the end of last year for building

materials firm Lafarge (PR Week, 4 December 1998).



Gillham started work at Valeo this month. He spent the last three years

running Sella Communications, the sports PR and marketing agency he

co-founded with one-time French international rugby player Philippe

Sella.



Gillham was previously communications vice-president at packaging

company Carnaud Metalbox, a position he held for three years.



’We need to make sure everybody understands that where the customer

goes, we go,’ he said. ’We need to convey our obsession with customer

satisfaction and creating value for shareholders.’ He added that the

company does not employ a PR agency, but he would consider using

one.



Valeo employs 50,000 staff worldwide. Its most recent annual report

registered a profit of around pounds 180 million and a turnover of

pounds 5 billion.



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