Betfair makes deep cuts to PR team

Betfair's head of corporate comms is set to leave as the betting exchange makes deep cuts to its PR team.

Betfair: new chief executive in cost-cutting mode
Betfair: new chief executive in cost-cutting mode

Leonie Foster is set to rejoin former employer BAE in a senior comms role after less than a year at Betfair as an already pared-down team at the online bookmaker faces further cuts.

Foster’s departure follows the exit of public affairs head Matt Lambert to Cuadrilla Resources. PRWeek can reveal that comms head Jonathan Oates was made redundant late last year.

The news comes after new CEO Breon Corcoran unveiled a major overhaul of the company that will see it withdraw from more risky, less regulated markets.

The restructure has led to redundancy consultations across the company and unconfirmed media claims of up to 300 potential job losses.

The consultation process is continuing, but as part of the overhaul a small internal comms team is already understood to have been made redundant.

Meanwhile the consumer team, believed to have been three-strong until recently, is understood to be down to one person, with a similar reduction occurring in corporate comms.

Although retained financial agency Powerscourt is thought to be unaffected, one well-placed source pointed to a relationship with Synergy as depending upon the consultation’s result.

The source said: ‘There is less emphasis on talking to the outside world. Betfair has gone from having a very active PR team to one that’s rather limited.’

Corcoran joined Betfair from Paddy Power last summer.

He is pushing for £20m of cost savings, with full-year 2012 group revenue expected to be between £370m and £385m – down from £389.65m the previous year.

Foster will rejoin BAE in the newly created role of head of media, corporate, as part of what PRWeek understands is a wider reshuffle within BAE’s comms set up.

Betfair, which has also worked with Mischief on a number of separate project briefs, declined to comment.

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