NATO spokesman Jamie Shea is thought to be on the verge of quitting
to join the London board of Burson-Marsteller. Senior B-M figures
refused to comment on mounting industry speculation that Shea was about
to leave his post, but negotiations are understood to have been going on
for more than a month.
The deal is thought to have come close to collapse last week as Shea
expressed reluctance to uproot his family from the Belgian capital,
where his wife is the European director of the International
Organisation of the Phonographic Industry.
Shea, who declined to comment on individual job offers, said: ’Since
Kosovo there has been repeated speculation that I am to quit. I’ve had
offers but for now I am committed to NATO. Let the speculators
As PR Week went to press, Shea was meeting senior B-M executives in
Brussels, although he is not thought to have signed any documents
Despite facing criticism for his role in justifying NATO blunders in the
Balkans, Shea won international recognition and a PR Week European
Communicator of the Year Award for his handling of the crisis. The lack
of resources at NATO headquarters led to Tony Blair’s press secretary
Alastair Campbell seconding a member of his staff to help out.
If Shea leaves, his deputy, former BBC defence reporter Mark Laity, is
thought likely to take over until a permanent successor is appointed.