Gregor Kreuzhuber joins the EU political comms specialist, which made international headlines earlier this year when it bagged a contract to provide PR advice to the Kremlin, as a partner on 2 October.
The Austrian national has been spokesman for industrial affairs under Verheugen - the commissioner for enterprise and industry - since 2004. Before that, he spent eight years as spokesman for agriculture in the private office of commissioner Franz Fischler.
GPlus director and co-founder Nigel Gardner said Kreuzhuber was ‘a serious player on the EU stage'.
Verheugen is one of the EC's most powerful men, and has been instrumental in initiatives aimed at increasing member states' competitiveness and boosting European economies.
The EC's industrial affairs unit is already recruiting for Kreuzhuber's replacement. In the interim, Mark Stephen Gray, who is the spokesperson for the commission's co-ordination and planning unit, is acting as Verheugen's spokesman.
Six-year-old GPlus - which was acquired by Omnicom in a deal worth up to £8m earlier this year (PRWeek, 24 March) - has also promoted Rory Macrae and Tim Price to partner level. Each has been with the company for four years, and the promotions bring the partnership to nine.
Price leads the agency's account with the Russian government, which involves advising on relations with the world's media during its presidency of the G8 this year.
The agency is working on the brief as part of an Omnicom team led by Ketchum, which includes Gavin Anderson in Japan and Maslov, Sokur & Associates in Moscow (PRWeek, 5 May).