Shea in talks over London postion at B-M

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.

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

speculate.’



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

committing himself.



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.



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