Movers and shakers: 13 of the biggest appointments and departures in 2017

As 2017 prepares to be succeeded by 2018, here are 13 lucky (or unlucky, in some cases) PR and comms leaders who moved on during the year.

1) Colin Byrne leaves Weber

Weber Shandwick EMEA CEO Colin Byrne hasn't actually left the agency just yet - but he announced this year that he was stepping down. An internal hire, Tim Sutton was later named as the man to succeed him, while London MD Rachel Friend has been made UK CEO.

2) Wilkinson champions Premier League

Chelsea FC may no longer be top of the Premier League, but its off-pitch alumna Emma Wilkinson is now at the top of its comms operation, after succeeding long-serving Dan Johnson.

3) Deliveroo gets Osborne aide

From one high-profile job to another - Thea Rogers was chief of staff at HM Treasury and an aide to George Osborne for many years before joining Deliveroo in January.

4) Whetstone signs up to Facebook

Our next top recruit worked for Osborne's ally David Cameron, albeit further in the past. Rachel Whetstone worked alongside the future (and now past) PM at Carlton TV, and this year took a top comms role at Facebook, following two years at Uber. She has also worked for Google.

5) Gibb succeeds Perrior in Number 10

Sticking with the political theme, in July the BBC journalist Robbie Gibb took up the Number 10 comms hot seat vacated by Katie Perrior, with the latter giving her successor the thumbs-up.

6) Freud picks Brady

After a decade at Freuds, Arlo Brady was named CEO in July, and the former academic has already got down to work, announcing several changes in October.

7) Day-rise at Burson

Following a series of changes at the top of Burson-Marsteller starting in December 2016, which included Ramiro Prudencio moving to London to become EMEA CEO, public affairs specialist Stephen Day became UK CEO of the agency in July - coincidentally the same month that Brady got his promotion.

8) Robertson takes Ketchum reins

The final part in a hat-trick of promotions to CEO is the upping of Jo-ann Robertson to the top job at Ketchum London, with incumbent Denise Kaufmann returning to the US with the Omnicom-owned firm.

9) Police pick up Helm

James Helm, meanwhile, left fellow Omnicom agency Portland to take up the high-profile top comms role at the Metropolitan Police.

10) Tighe promoted at Home Office

One man likely to work closely with Helm is Andy Tighe, whose promotion to comms director at the Home Office was confirmed in November.

11) Hicks-it at Sky

After a little under two years in the role, Catherine Hicks has stepped down from her role as group corporate affairs director at Sky, with a successor due to be named shortly.

12) Reilly move at Sainsbury's

Rebecca Reilly has taken on the top comms job at Sainsbury's after Louise Evans' redundancy - although her role is less senior than Evans' position.

13) Marshall Manson moves on

Finally, we have the man who may be the last ever CEO of Ogilvy PR UK, with the agency seeming likely to be restructured out of existence soon. Marshall Manson will join Brunswick next year.

Honourable mentions

Of course, there were plenty more people moving and shaking this year. Additional top people moves stories include Guto Harri leaving Liberty, the departure of David Wright from Porta and a resulting senior reshuffle at the group, an overhaul of the top tier at Chime, the departure of beleagured airline United's comms boss, two new hires to NHS England; Times journo James Lyons and the London Ambulance Services' Anna Macarthur, and of course a raft of Bell Pottinger leavers – to Pagefield and elsewhere.

Read next: Sign on the dotted line: 16 account moves that shook up PR in 2017

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