Evans exits WHSmith for top ITN corporate post

ITN has poached WHSmith head of comms Louise Evans to become its own director of corporate affairs. Evans will join in October after five years with the high-street retailer.

She will replace Kathryn Holland, who, it emerges, joined FTSE 100 pub-chain owner Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) as its director of corporate affairs earlier this month.

When she arrives at ITN, Evans will report to chief ­executive Mark Wood, overseeing a team of six.

The company provides news for ITV and Channel Four, plus mobile operators Orange, 3 and O2, and online brands Yahoo! and MSN.

ITN last year secured a contract to produce Channel Four News for a further five years in a deal worth more than £100m. But its contract for ITV News is up for review in 2008. In her WHSmith role, Evans - who declined to comment - is believed to report to the company's HR director, while working closely with chief executive Kate Swann.

PRWeek understands that WHSmith has yet to decide on how to replace Evans. At M&B, Holland effectively replaced former head of comms Kate Peers, who has now taken up a senior marketing manager role. She oversees four people, reporting to CEO Tim Clarke.

Holland, who is working alongside director of public affairs Simon Ward, said: ‘M&B approached me and the leisure sector is one I know well, having previously worked at Intercontinental Hotels, so this move is a natural step.'

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