Rolls-Royce launches hunt for comms boss

Rolls-Royce, the FTSE 100 aerospace firm, is hunting for a new director of communications after Colin Duncan left for personal reasons. Duncan has quit to spend time with his family after two years in the post. Director of financial communications Peter Barnes-Wallis is to assume Duncan’s responsibilities.

Head of corporate media relations Maria Darby-Walker confirmed that the search was on to replace Duncan. ‘We are very sad to lose him. A replacement is being sought and in the meantime Peter has stepped into the breach.’

The aeroplane engine producer has a 15-strong comms team at its corporate office in London and is divided into four overall businesses. Each business has comms teams of two or three staff.

Rolls-Royce this week unveiled a multi-billion-pound engine deal with US aircraft giant Boeing.

The company hired Bell Pottinger Public Affairs last year to boost its government relations and lobby for the industry (PRWeek, 10 October 2003).

The agency’s work is overseen by joint directors of government relations Mike McLaughlin and Josephine Cook.

McLaughlin recently conducted a review of the firm’s ‘government connections’ to bolster its public affairs strategy.

BP-PA’s brief includes lobbying the Government over implementation of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Innovation and Growth Team Report, which sets out the UK’s 20-year aviation strategy.

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