Guardian Media Group gets new group comms chief O'Grady from Pearson

Brendan O'Grady will join the publisher of the Guardian and the Observer as group comms director next month, PRWeek has learned.

O'Grady is currently SVP, corporate and financial comms at Pearson, the global education business, which sold both The Economist and the Financial Times in 2015.

At the Guardian Media Group (GMG), O'Grady will oversee media relations, public policy, corporate affairs and internal communications, reporting jointly to CEO David Pemsel and editor-in-chief Katharine Viner, the company confirmed to PRWeek.

Joining in mid-April, he will also sit on GMG's executive committee.

O'Grady has been with Pearson since 2010, overseeing corporate and financial communications since 2014.

Earlier in his career, he held roles as deputy press secretary at the British Embassy in Washington and was a senior press officer at Downing Street between 2006 and 2008, serving under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Before that, he worked in the press teams of the Home Office and Department for Trade and Industry.

Pearson is not appointing a direct successor to O'Grady. Tom Engel, currently SVP overseeing corporate affairs for Pearson's "core" business in mature markets including the UK, Australia and Germany, will take on O'Grady's duties.

GMG's previous comms chief Oliver Rawlins left on 27 March. He had been with the company since 2012 and returns to his previous employer, FremantleMedia, later this month.

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