Former BoJo aide Guto Harri to leave Liberty Global at end of year

Guto Harri is leaving his role at media giant Liberty Global, two years after the former Boris Johnson aide departed News UK.

Harri chairing PRWeek's PR360 event earlier this year
Harri chairing PRWeek's PR360 event earlier this year

There will be no immediate director successor to Harri - when he leaves at the end of the year, Amsterdam-based VP of external comms Julia Hart and London-based director of digital media will lead the firm's comms. Both were hired by Harri last year.

Harri joined Liberty Global as MD, external comms in February 2015. Liberty calls itself the world's "largest international TV and broadband company" and owns Virgin Media, among other firms.

Prior to that, he spent three-and-a-half years at Sun and Times owner News UK, telling PRWeek it was "job done" in terms of rebuilding the company's reputation following the phone-hacking scandal. He had worked for then Mayor of London Boris Johnson before that.

Harri said of his time at Liberty: "In two years, I'm very proud to have built a fantastic team, new platforms, some fabulous campaigns and an award-winning stunt around the solar eclipse. [I have also] created a more formal approach to earnings releases and above all else a coherent, consistent and compelling narrative for Liberty Global. I leave them hopefully in great shape and wish them well."

He told PRWeek he was considering various options of what to do next, saying operating as a consultant seemed the most likely option. He said he hoped to also have time to devote to positions on the board of Hay Festival and the Welsh language broadcaster S4C, and volunteering work with lifeboat charity RNLI.

Harri also said he hoped to do more writing and broadcasting. Shortly after this story was published, he was named as a contributing political editor to GQ magazine. Fellow political PR man Alastair Campbell remains the magazine's chief political interviewer.

"What I enjoy is getting an organisation's story straight and finding the best way to tell it," he said.

Liberty Global has Teneo Blue Rubicon on retainer, and its recent work has mostly been media monitoring. Recent thought leadership campaign GIGAWorld was run with help from former Sky director Raymond Jaffe's agency The Promotions Factory (TPF).

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