Kleine abandons F-H for Ketchum role

Fleishman-Hillard Europe vice-president Simon Kleine has defected to sister Omnicom agency Ketchum, where he has been appointed as London corporate practice group director.

Kleine, who starts next week, is the first major hire made by former Tory comms chief Paul Baverstock in the job he took two months ago as corporate and technology managing director.

Kleine’s exit from F-H – and that of V-P Nigel Roberts to Weber Shandwick – has led to what F-H UK managing director Kevin Bell described as a ‘reorganisation’ of the agency’s European financial and corporate practice.

Bell said: ‘We are shifting our resources from slow to high-growth areas within Europe.’

Kleine, who formerly held senior comms roles at cable firm NTL and American Express, quit F-H after just eight months.

At Ketchum he will head accounts, including the long-standing relationship with US coffee giant Starbucks.

Kleine spent less than a year at NTL, where he was PR and government affairs director. Prior to that he was V-P of Latin America and Caribbean international corporate affairs at Amex.

It emerged this week that Brooke Clarke has also joined Ketchum as group practice director.

Clarke, who is working for clients including Kodak, joined from Burson-Marsteller, where she spent just under 18 months as director of brands and integrated marketing.

Baverstock, who heads a 17-strong team, was culled when Michael Howard took over the leadership of the Conservative Party last year.

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