Marketing Leeds chief steps down

Marketing Leeds has denied that the sudden departure of its chief executive, Kevin Johnson, was related to the controversial hire of a PR agency based outside the city.

Johnson announced his decision to quit the promotional body last Thursday amid protests from the Leeds PR community about the appointment of Harrogate-based agency Northern Lights (PRWeek, 3 March).

However, a written statement from Marketing Leeds this week insisted that the departure of Johnson – appointed only six months ago – happened 'by mutual consent' before the agency selection process was carried out.

Marketing Leeds said it was currently recruiting for Johnson's successor.

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