Jerry Epstein, PR21’s New York-based president and CEO has confirmed that Kaye, who has headed the consumer specialist firm since its launch three years ago (PRWeek, 8 September, 2000), has resigned.
He also confirmed details of the scaling down of its central London-based UK operation with around seven staff, including directors Jonathan Hopkins and Neil Honor, accepting voluntary redundancy.
An agency source said Kaye decided to leave as the future direction of the firm has been in doubt for ‘a long while now’.
‘There was lots of talk… will we consolidate with Edelman? It was unclear,’ the source added.
Epstein confirmed a plan to merge PR21 with Edelman’s consumer operation, with Kaye taking another senior role, had been mooted before her resignation. However, he said this merger option was rejected.
It is understood that Kaye is to stay in the PR industry.
The remaining six-strong PR21 team, which is headed by director Kevin Redfern, has now been relocated to Edelman’s London offices.
Epstein said the scaling down of the operation follows a two to three-month review into the finances of the London operation. He added the review had found that the firm had been hit hard by the global economic downturn. He said: ‘Almost everyone has faced that, I guess it was our turn this time.’