Golin/Harris Ludgate has ended its three-month-long search for a managing director to lead its troubled public affairs department.
The financial and public affairs PR agency has hired Ceri Evans - former chief of staff and campaign director for Steve Norris' London mayoral campaign - to rebuild the 12-strong division which has been plagued by departures in recent months.
Evans' appointment comes more than three months after former Ludgate public affairs MD Stephen Lock left the agency along with his deputy Richard Elsen and fellow directors Sunil Sharma and Iain Anderson following a failed management buyout.
Interim public affairs MD Peter Sanguinetti, who was formerly British Gas corporate affairs director, will remain at Ludgate during the handover period.
'My main aim will be to revitalise the division,' said Evans. 'I want to raise its profile and give it a real cutting edge for clients.'
Ludgate CEO Robin Hepburn said parent company Golin/ Harris, which acquired the agency in June, is committed to redeveloping the London-based public affairs division.
'If we lose key business winners, as we did when Lock left, it is bound to have implications on revenue, but Golin/ Harris will be supporting the business financially through this period,' said Lock.
Evans has previously worked as a communications adviser to William Hague, a creative director for Channel Four Television, and a branding consultant for BBC News and Current Affairs, repositioning programmes such as Newsnight and Panorama.
Golin/Harris Ludgate has also appointed Roddy Watt as a new divisional director in its financial services department, headed by fellow recent recruit Julia Burge. Watt joins from the London office of US agency Ruder Finn, where he worked as a senior consultant with clients including BP.