PRWeek understands that Sam Ingleby and Nick Hargrave will work out their notice periods for their respective employers before launching an agency in January. The new firm will specialise in corporate reputation, comms, policy and regulatory work, as well as research and insight.
News of Ingleby’s departure came to light in an internal email sent to Portland staff by chief executive Mark Flanagan.
He told staff it was with a “heavy heart” that he was announcing Ingleby’s departure after 12 years with the company, during which time he rose through the ranks from account manager to managing director.
In the email, seen by PRWeek, Flanagan added: “As you know, the pandemic has forced many people to reappraise their lives and reach different conclusions about what they want from careers. We wish Sam all the best with his new adventure – the details of which he will announce in due course.”
Ingleby told PRWeek: “I’ve had a great time at Portland and feel lucky to have worked with so many brilliant clients and colleagues. It’s the right time for a change for me and I’ll have more to say about plans for next year soon.”
Hargrave was also at Portland in 2010, working across a range of clients and sectors before becoming a speechwriter to David Cameron and later a political adviser in the Conservative Research Department.
From No. 10, where he was latterly deputy political director, he rejoined Portland in 2017 and was a partner responsible for leading strategy and research at the agency until January this year, when he joined Deliveroo.
Hargrave told PR Week: "I've had a fantastic time at Deliveroo and have learned a great deal. I'm very excited about what's coming next and look forward to talking about it in more detail soon.”
Room at the top
Flanagan told staff that Ingleby's departure was an opportunity for others, both internally and externally.
He said: "While the departure of long-serving colleagues can be disconcerting. it also provides opportunities for others to grow their careers. We are lucky to have an amazingly talented group of people at all levels within Portland who can, as Sam did, take on the mantle of leadership in the future. It’s also important that we supplement this with external talent to contribute fresh energy to help us grow."
Commenting on Ingleby's departure, Flanagan told PRWeek: "Sam has given 12 years of fantastic service to the agency, rising from account manager to managing director, becoming a close colleague and friend to many of us."