Philip Dewhurst has resigned as Weber Shandwick UK CEO to become
group corporate affairs director at British Nuclear Fuels.
The UK's largest PR agency is on the hunt for a CEO following news that
Dewhurst quit on Tuesday, having accepted the BNFL role just hours
As PRWeek went to press, staff and clients at the world's largest PR
network's UK arm were being informed of the boss's imminent
WSW European CEO Lutz Meyer said a successor would be appointed in time,
but until then, London practice heads would report to him. These are
Chris Genassi of corporate, Charles Lankester at financial, public
affairs' Colin Byrne, Tessa Curtis of broadcast and interactive and
technology's Kathy Pittham.
Industry sources suggested Dewhurst had been plotting an exit strategy
ever since missing out on the European job - which went to Germany CEO
Meyer - in the shake-up brought about by the merger last year of
Interpublic sisters Shandwick International and the Weber Group (PRWeek,
22 September 2000). Dewhurst denied this.
Dewhurst will remain at WSW for at least a month to execute a handover
of duties. Starting at BNFL on 17 April, he oversees 30 staff and
reports to chairman Hugh Collum - who interviewed him for the
The BNFL vacancy was created after long-time company PR chief Colin
Duncan decided to leave (PRWeek, 15 December 2000).
This latest job will see Dewhurst return to high-profile issues-based
PR. He was corporate affairs director at Railtrack for four years before
and after privatisation. Earlier in his career he headed public affairs
for the Chemical Industries Association.
Dewhurst is understood to have grown frustrated at the time spent on
management issues at WSW, and has grown keen to return to frontline
'Most of my career has been spent on complex issues. I look forward to
getting back to that sort of work,' he said.