Harrods restructures its comms team

Harrods is redrawing communications lines following two key departures and the relocation of proprietor Mohamed Al Fayed to Switzerland. Overseeing PR now is Anne-Marie Verdin, who has been appointed to the new post of marketing and comms director.

Verdin comes from the French satellite TV operator TPS, where she was vice president of communications and marketing. She was previously head of marketing at Disneyland Paris for seven years.

Verdin replaces director of marketing Ronny Helvey, who is leaving to start his own consultancy.

Her appointment follows that of new CEO Richard Simonin, who joined this

week from luxury products group Escada.

It also emerged this week that Harrods lost its director of public affairs, Christopher Morris, at the start of this year after just four months in the job. Morris was brought in to work alongside controller of public affairs Chester Stern, on the personal media relations of Al Fayed, but has been let go ‘by mutual agreement’.

Harrods director of corporate communications Peter Willase, who now reports to Verdin, said that Morris left as it was decided only one person was needed in the role.

At the time of his appointment, Morris, previously a BBC war reporter and

news anchor, was bullish about his new role, saying: ‘My knowledge of PR is, to a degree, limited, but I think I know the workings of the business.’

Stern remains in place, looking after media relations for Al Fayed.

Aside from PR, Verdin will also have responsibility for customer relationship marketing, visual marketing and the in-house creative department.

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