GE Capital (GEC) has created the role of communications director
for Europe in a bid to make the sprawling organisation better
The financial services arm of General Electric - the world's largest
company, with a market capitalisation of more than pounds 250bn - has
appointed Ivan Royle to the role.
GEC is composed of 24 autonomous business units, and Royle is tasked
with both forging a coherent message about them and aiding smooth
communication among their combined 25,000 European staff. His remit
covers government affairs, internal communications and the press
While GEC has only a small in-house PR staff, it places great faith in
key agency relationships. Despite a review of the corporate account last
year (PRWeek, 10 March 2000), it remains with long-time incumbent Hill &
Knowlton. City agency Financial Dynamics is retained by both GE Equity,
the firm's venture capital arm, and GE Real Estate.
Royle said there would be scope for more agencies to be hired on a
project basis but that his first priority would be to tour the 24
businesses and establish communications goals with them.
He joined the company last week from GCI Financial, where he has spent
more than 18 months, most recently as an account director. Before that,
he served 18 months as senior press officer at the Corporation of
Prior to that, he ran his own corporate entertainment agency for three
In his latest role, Royle reports to Charles Alexander, the president of
GEC Europe, and John Oliver, the global head of corporate
communications, in the company's US headquarters.
GEC accounts for more than half the parent company's total revenues of
almost pounds 100bn last year. Of that, roughly pounds 10bn is produced
by the European arm.