Weber Shandwick recruits former Cohn & Wolfe CEO Fiona Noble

Weber Shandwick snaps up former Cohn & Wolfe CEO to focus on business growth.

New start: Fiona Noble joins Weber Shandwick
New start: Fiona Noble joins Weber Shandwick

Former Cohn & Wolfe CEO Fiona Noble is set to resurface as UK vice-chairman of Weber Shandwick - months after her surprise exit from the agency world.

Noble will join Weber Shandwick's London office in the autumn as second-in-command to UK & Europe CEO Colin Byrne.

Twisting the knife into Noble's former employer, Byrne said: 'I regard Fiona as a princess of the PR industry. It's not her fault that Cohn & Wolfe seems to have been more of a pumpkin than a coach for her.'

Noble's move means that the two agencies are effectively swapping senior executives, after Weber Shandwick's MD of consumer Scott Wilson left to replace Noble at C&W earlier this year.

Noble made a sudden exit from the WPP agency without a new role lined up, after holding crunch talks with New York-based global CEO Donna Imperato. At the time, Noble insisted that she resigned from the agency, but Imperato offered a different version of events.

Byrne said he had no concerns over Noble's departure from C&W, which followed numerous senior staff leaving the agency.

He added that Noble would be focusing on growth, innovation and building Weber Shandwick's brand marketing business. Noble will also drive new-business development and marketing, client services, thought leadership, growth strategies and provide counsel to key brand clients.

Before C&W, Noble was MD at Freud Communications. She has also worked as Hill & Knowlton's MD for marketing comms.

The last person to hold the vice-chairman role at Weber Shandwick was former Sun editor David Yelland, who is now a partner at Brunswick.

WS has also promoted healthcare MD Lucie Harper to the additional role of senior MD, UK.


Fiona Noble CV

2010: Vice-chairman, London, Weber Shandwick

2008: CEO, Cohn & Wolfe

2004: MD, Freud Communications

2002: MD marcoms, Hill & Knowlton

2000: MD (Dubai), Bain Euro RSCG

1984: Head of consumer, Biss Lancaster

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