Andrew Phillips’ first task as EMEA corporate comms and PR manager at the PDA vendor was to end Kaizo’s nine-year relationship and seek a replacement (PRWeek, 28 April).
Bite Communications, Cohn & Wolfe, CompanyCare and Weber Shandwick comprised Phillips’ agency shortlist, with the latter emerging as frontrunner.
But WS was pipped at the post by Inferno PR – a company not on Phillips’ original shortlist. The firm was one of three agencies on an alternative list drawn up by Palm EMEA vice-president Roy Bedlow.
When asked whether the saga had caused his exit, neither Phillips nor Bedlow would comment – instead they both cited ‘mutual consent’ and ‘a poor fit’. Bedlow would only say that the pitch process was ‘not the only reason for the exit’ of Phillips, who does not have a job to go to.
Bedlow added: ‘I wanted to be meticulous about the agency hire. We need the best people – both internally and externally. With huge launches this summer it is a crucial time. There’s no reason we cannot have the same brand presence in Europe as we do in the US.’
Inferno is part of the Next Fifteen Group. Next Fifteen’s UK corporate development director Matthew Ravden has worked for Bedlow and Palm across EMEA for six years on projects. Ravden described his role in the selection of Inferno as ‘peripheral’.