Microsoft has plundered Westminster Strategy for its first UK
government relations chief.
Matthew Lambert, director of Westminster Strategy and managing director
of its Brussels arm, European Strategy, leaves on 12 November, joining
its Reading office two weeks later (PR Week, 8 October).
Lambert, 36, admitted it would be a tough job, but said: ’I am up for
it.’ Over the coming months he will have to ’take a fresh look at how
Microsoft handles its government relations’.
Lambert would not go into the details of his new role, beyond saying:
’The intention is to handle public affairs in a more organised way.’
He will report to John Frank, the Paris-based European and legal affairs
chief, and will work closely with UK chairman David Svendsen, who will
continue to play a large role in Microsoft’s public affairs
August.One is Microsoft’s retained public affairs agency.
Lambert joined Westminster Strategy a year ago, after ten years with
European Public Policy Associates.
Westminster Strategy has had to reorganise in the wake of Lambert’s
Managing director Michael Burrell will take overall control of the BT
account, which Lambert was credited with winning last year.
Another director, Leighton Andrews, will take over on the Mars business,
although Burrell will have overall responsibility. Burrell said he had
not decided whether to replace Lambert directly in the UK.
In Brussels, European Strategy deputy managing director Maurits Bruggink
has been promoted to succeed him.
Westminster Strategy has lost three other key players in the past six
months: deputy managing director Mike Lee, who quit to go freelance,
consultant Tom Engel, now special adviser to Education and Employment
Secretary David Blunkett, and consultant James Sheward, who left
forSevern Trent Water.
Burrell was sanguine about the departures. He said: ’It’s a great
tribute to us that the people here are of the quality to fill these
kinds of jobs. I have little doubt that what goes around comes around.’