Sharkey, who joined the agency this week, is a co-founder of the former Ludgate Communications, which he left in 1998 to begin a seven-year stint as a director and partner at corporate comms and PA specialist Luther Pendragon.
His new position is MD of C&W’s corporate division, putting him in charge of a 20-strong team that includes director Lee Murgatroyd and a roster comprising the Learning and Skills Council, Diageo and London Underground.
Sharkey said: ‘My priority will be to look in the division’s stable and get to know the clients that we currently have. After that I can start to work on bringing in new business.’
His appointment is testament to the speed at which C&W moved to replace Doherty, as PRWeek understands at least two other major agencies made efforts to secure Sharkey’s services.
Sharkey’s role at Luther changed after 2005’s management buyout (PRWeek, 9 Dec 2005). He moved into an associate position, scaling back his involvement at the agency to around one day a week.
For the past year, Sharkey has been ‘catching up with family’ and advising a small number of clients, such as estate-agency services firm mysalepack, on corporate comms.
‘After a year, I missed the excitement and buzz of agency life,’ he said.
His future involvement with clients he has advised in the past 12 months is ‘undecided’, he added.
Sharkey was part of the team that founded Ludgate in 1991. The agency was spun off from financial advertising agency Murray Hill after Sharkey and fellow director Tim Trotter led an MBO.
The Interpublic Group bought the agency’s holding company, the Ludgate Group, for an estimated £10.5m in 1997.
Doherty leaves WPP-owned C&W for Diageo in February, to take up the post of director of comms (PRWeek, 12 Jan).
Since Doherty’s promotion to director of operations last year (PRWeek, 13 October 2006), Murgatroyd has handled day-to-day running of the division.
Sharkey reports to C&W CEO Jonathan Shore.