Omnicom PR agency big guns step down

Fleishman-Hillard UK has been hit by the shock resignation of managing director Scott Clark, with Kevin Bell, MD at its sister public affairs shop GPC International, appointed as his replacement.

Clark’s exit, announced to staff on Tuesday, sees Bell take charge of both the Omnicom-backed agencies and more than 50 staff.

It also emerged this week that Neil Backwith has resigned from his role as European chief of Porter Novelli Europe, also part of the Omnicom group.

PN global CEO Helen Ostrowski said she had no ‘current plans’ to hire a direct replacement for Backwith, a 20-year agency veteran who does not have a job to go to.

Backwith said his aim to better integrate PN’s US and European operations was ‘in effect, completed’. He is on a 12-month notice that expires ‘late this year’.

Meanwhile, Clark will remain at F-H until late-March, after which he will ‘take an extended break before moving into his next role in the comms industry’, according to a statement.

Bell, who continues to report to F-H president Europe Dave Senay, said he ‘couldn’t rule out’ a rebranding of GPC to F-H, as has just happened in the US. It is claimed that at GPC, Bell has run the most profitable part of F-H in Europe.

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