Bankrupt energy trader Enron has laid off the bulk of its UK comms
staff, leaving just one PRO manning the press office for its European
The group's former 15-strong PR team - which covered Europe, the Middle
East, Japan and Australia - has been slashed to leave just the
vice-president of PR and communications Jackie Gentle heading all PR
across the region.
Enron confirmed the lay-offs following news that the group was put into
administration last Friday.
The PR job losses form part of the 1,100 announced redundancies
throughout Enron Europe, with another 3,000 being made in the US.
Enron's Houston-based corporate PR chief Mark Palmer was unavailable for
comment as PRWeek went to press, but it is expected there will be a
large number of jobs lost in the group's US communications
Brunswick's New York office is handling the bulk of Enron's US crisis
comms work with help from IR company Kekst & Company. Brunswick was
originally taken on two weeks ago for PR surrounding Enron's ill-fated
deal with Dynegy, which has turned into a high-profile legal
The agency's brief has since evolved into full-blown crisis comms.
Enron has axed all its external PR agencies in the UK, Europe, Japan and
Those agencies affected include financial PR firm Smithfield Financial
and Gentle Persuasion - Gentle's former firm - in the UK - alongside a
number of regionally-retained consultancies, such as Cohn & Wolfe in
Germany and Burson-Marsteller in Spain.
Smithfield, however, confirmed it continues to handle PR for Bath-based
Wessex Water - the largest subsidiary of Enron's part-owned Azurix
subsidiary - and is helping to reassure customers and investors that the
water group is not affected by Enron's decision to file for bankruptcy.