Top 3 independent public affairs shop PPS Group is on the hunt for a new divisional MD this week after the announcement that Mark Pendlington is to leave the company.
Pendlington leaves in March to become chief executive of the renamed Country Land and Business Association. The organisation, until recently known as the Country Landowner's Association, is a 50,000-strong membership body aimed at protecting the interests of the rural economy.
He leaves a major vacancy at PPS, which was a local and regional planning lobbying firm until he arrived from Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, to set up a national public affairs offering in April 1999. In the intervening 18 months the agency has won business from National Car Parks, Beazer Homes and the Management Consultants' Association. The division has six staff and projected fee income for 2001 of pounds 750,000.
Pendlington replaces Julian Anderson at the CLBA. He is himself a country landowner - in Suffolk - who will now run a pounds 10m budget and a staff of over 100 split between London and the regions.
Pendlington's career has seen him spend 12 years as a Conservative Party official and adviser to former party chairman Cecil Parkinson.
He then worked in corporate affairs for the British Airports Authority and British Gas before joining Bell Pottinger in 1995.
In the interim before a successor is appointed at PPS, agency founder and public affairs chairman Charles St George will take a more hands-on approach.