Rolls-Royce comms boss Duncan Campbell-Smith departs

Rolls-Royce director of corporate comms and former Economist journalist Duncan Campbell-Smith has suddenly left the FTSE 100 aerospace firm after little over a year.

Campbell-Smith, who joined in January last year (PRWeek, 7 January 2005), left the company's headquarters this afternoon (Thursday 2 March).

Rolls-Royce director of financial comms Peter Barnes-Wallis said Campbell-Smith had 'decided to leave and do something else' - but declined to elaborate.Campbell-Smith did not return PRWeek's calls.

Barnes-Wallis added that head of Europe comms Caroline Harris, who joined from Smiths group only a month and a half ago (PRWeek 13 January), would replace Campbell-Smith.

Harris's job was created for her and was one of three posts reporting to Campbell-Smith. The others were Asia communications head Martin Brodie and corporate comms V-P Mia Walton, who has responsibility for the US and Central America.

Barnes-Wallis said that Campbell-Smith's departure was 'amicable' and unrelated to the restructure. He added that while Harris's future title had not been decided, there would be no change in responsibility as head of the company's 15-strong core comms team.

Campbell-Smith joined Rolls-Royce from The Maitland Consultancy, where he had been a partner for four
years. He had previously been director of public affairs at Pearson and a strategy and planning director for its educational and Penguin publishing arms. He worked for The Economist between 1989 and 1994 and also at the FT where he contributed to the Lex column and the foreign desk.

His departure from Rolls-Royce follows the US government cancellation last month of plans for a second £138m Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) engine, which Rolls-Royce and GE of the US would have built.

Rolls-Royce CEO Sir John Rose has said the company would support GE's continuing lobbying of the US Congress to reverse the decision. The news deflected attention from a 49 per cent like-for-like rise in profits.

Although the JSF engine was the most important project in Rolls-Royce's defence portfolio, defence only accounts for 25 per cent of its business.

Apart from Defence Aerospace, Rolls-Royce's other business units are Civil Aerospace and Marine and Energy.

Campbell-Smith reported to Rose but was not on the board.

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