Airport operator BAA is shaking up its senior PR team ahead of the
departure of the current director of corporate and public affairs, Des
Wilson leaves at the end of June after six years to become part-time PR
adviser to CEO Mike Hodgkinson. Wilson’s deputy, Steven Olivant, will
take over the corporate brief. Jenny Bradley, current director of public
affairs at Heathrow, will extend her role to cover public affairs at
Gatwick and Stansted - although each of these will keep its own public
Wilson had been due to retire in a year’s time. He asked to scale down
his involvement in BAA to concentrate on various sports and tourism
bodies, such as the UK Sports Council, of which he is a member. ’We are
splitting my responsibilities,’ Wilson said. ’Corporate affairs is 70
per cent of what I do.’
Andrew Currie, the assistant director of public affairs, becomes BAA’s
community relations director.
Two PR staff have taken voluntary redundancy at Stansted, although
Wilson denied this represents the beginning of plans to centralise BAA’s
entire PR machine at Heathrow. He said the company runs a voluntary
severance programme every 18 months.
The duties of outgoing PR manager, Carol Leach, and media relations
manager, Rona Young, will be shared between four members of the team at
The loss of duty free sales in Europe and a profit warning gave BAA a
bumpy ride during the second half of 1999. Full-year profits are
expected to be down from pounds 484 million to pounds 455 million.
In addition to the three south-east airports, BAA owns Aberdeen,
Glasgow, Edinburgh and Southampton. It also has airports in the US,
Italy and Australia.