O2 owner Telefónica bolsters comms with senior hires from Diageo and Royal Mail

O2 owner Telefónica UK has bolstered its PR department with the appointment of Diageo's Kirsty King as head of external communications and Ian Lynch of Royal Mail as head of internal comms.

Hires: Ian Lynch and Kirsty King
Hires: Ian Lynch and Kirsty King

King joins the mobile telecoms firm in the newly-created role on 10 September from drinks giant Diageo, where she was corporate PR director. Lynch joined the company yesterday (28 August) from Royal Mail, where he was internal comms head. He replaces Gordon Dowall-Potter, who left O2 at the beginning of 2018 to join E.ON as digital communications lead.

Both will report to Nicola Green, Telefónica's director of corporate affairs.

King will oversee Telefónica's corporate PR messaging and strategy and the company's press office and brand reputation. Lynch will take charge of Telefónica's internal communications team, overseeing internal messaging to 6,700 employees, as well as content and channel management and stakeholder engagement.

King spent seven years at Diageo, where she was also head of financial communication. She was previously head of agency Finsbury's consumer team.

At Royal Mail, Lynch covered its privatisation, industrial relations dispute and work on the London 2012 Olympics. He has also worked in internal comms at Barclays, UBS, Prudential and British Airways.

King said: "This is a really exciting time to be joining O2. Mobile is a key part of daily life and, as we move towards the rollout of 5G, it’s clear that it will continue to play a vital role in building the UK’s economy and society."

Lynch added: "I am thrilled to be joining a company with such high-quality values like O2. It’s an exciting and important time to be working in the telecoms industry and I’m looking forward to delivering O2’s strategy and messaging across its employee base."

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