In an email announcing Leach's resignation internally on Wednesday, Matthew Kirk, group external affairs director, praised Leach for his ‘integrity and professionalism’ and his ‘contribution to Vodafone’.
Leach will remain at the firm until the end of June to hand over to Peacock, who joins the firm on 6 June. Leach told PRWeek that he had made ‘no decisions at this point’ about his plans after leaving the firm.
Peacock joined BG Group in 2008, having previously headed comms for UK communications regulator Ofcom. He has also served as director of external relations at mobile telecoms group 3 and as UK chief comms officer at AOL.
Peacock is a former BBC broadcast journalist for programmes including Radio 4’s The World at One, and subsequently joined Regester Larkin as a partner in 1998.
Leach joined Vodafone from Weber Shandwick, where he spent five years from 1996. Before that he spent seven years in the British Army.
Kirk commented: ‘Bobby has made a significant contribution to Vodafone’s operational approach, to our position in the external environment, and in doing so to Vodafone’s success.’
The brand has been a high-profile target of protest group UK Uncut over claims it has avoided paying a significant tax bill.
The firm was also implicated in the recent uprisings in the Middle East after then-president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, demanded Vodafone switch off services at the height of the protests.
Vodafone’s UK arm last week shook up its comms roster, replacing Paratus Communications with Freud Communications and bringing in Tavistock Communications to handle UK corporate comms and The Ideas Network to run its devices loan programme.
Finsbury remains the firm's retained group-level financial consultancy.