Centrica creates comms chief job for telecoms arm

Centrica is creating a head of communications role for its telecoms arm, which includes One.Tel and British Gas Communications.

The group - headed by CEO Roy Gardner - is in the process of recruiting to fill the top telecoms PR role, which has until now been overseen on an interim basis by John Jessup. It is believed a headhunting firm is handling the recruitment.

Jessup is returning to his former role as PR manager for British Gas in the north-west and the Midlands.

Centrica director of corporate affairs Charles Naylor said the creation of the role reflects the growth of the telecoms division, which last July bought One.Tel UK in a £58m deal.

'Our organisation had someone in the Centrica telecom business based in Manchester but now we have a focus on the south-east with the One.Tel acquisition and need a role to support the business,' said Naylor.

The post will oversee a team of around four and report to Naylor, with dotted lines to Centrica Telecom MD Ian El-Mokadem and commercial director Phil Hendey.

One.Tel communications manager Lucy Hotston and British Gas Communications PR manager Russell Craig will also report to the new role.

In a separate development, One.Tel has taken all its PR in-house, dispensing with its retained agency Harvard PR and shelving plans to repitch the account (PRWeek, 14 December 2001).

Craig confirmed British Gas Communications employs no agencies and all PR work is already handled in-house.

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