Tech head Morris leaves after Pleon UK realigns

Pleon UK's first tech director has left the firm by 'mutual consent' with no job to go.

Nick Morris, who joined from Bite Communications last year, will freelance while he decides alternatives.

Pleon has acted swiftly to replace Morris, moving former Chariot UK and Hill & Knowlton MD Stuart Handley in to the role.

Handley joined Pleon in December - to cover for UK CEO Jennifer Helfer, set to take maternity leave later this year. He has already spent some time working in liaison with Pleon's European offices.

Helfer said: ‘We realigned resources which resulted in Nick leaving.' Pleon lured Morris from an associate director role at Bite to be its first UK director of tech last summer (PRWeek, 23 June, 2006). He headed a team of around 15, but said the role did not fit. Morris also provided cover for maternity leave, taking on the clients of Pleon associate director Claire Dell.

Morris' replacement Handley is a former MD of corporate comms at H&K. Handley left H&K to join National Lottery rival Chariot in April last year (PRWeek, 6 April, 2006). Chariot, chaired by former Camelot CEO Tim Holley, subsequently failed to make a dent on the lottery market, prompting Handley to leave last year.

Earlier this year Pleon picked up the account for online travel firm ebookers which aimed to attract more visitors in the increasingly cutthroat travel market (PRWeek, 9 February).

Helfer became Pleon CEO last year, replacing Geoff Beattie who moved to Cohn & Wolfe as London-based MD with European responsibilities (PRWeek, 19 October, 2006).

Last month InteractiveMedia brought in Pleon UK to raise its profile in Britain (PRWeek, 14 March). The digital marketing company briefed Pleon to target media-buying agencies and marketing personnel.

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