Ed Brewster, head of external relations at the firm, which operates as 3 UK, has confirmed that Rigby is to join within weeks to replace Bashford as its most senior PRO.
It has not yet been decided whether Rigby will have the same job title.
Brewster insisted that Bashford’s appointment had always been an interim measure. However, a source at Hutchison 3G admitted that the temporary nature of former Financial Times and South China Morning Post journalist Bashford’s role was not mentioned by the firm’s spokespeople when he was appointed (PRWeek, 25 July). This omission, the source added, was ‘a mistake’.
Bashford said: ‘I’ve always had the intention to return to Hong Kong. I am happy to have completed my three-month contract as agreed.’
Rigby’s job at Six Continents disappeared when the hotels and leisure giant demerged in April into Mitchells & Butlers pub group, and InterContinental Hotels Group, the name adopted for the hotels and soft drinks business.
Last month, Hutchison announced it had signed up 520,000 subscribers following the March launch of its 3G service in the UK and Italy and said it was aiming for one million by the end of this year.