Nayyar leaves Edelman in reshuffle aftermath

Edelman vice-chairman of UK public affairs Simon Nayyar has quit just weeks after a major reshuffle at the agency.

Nayyar’s next move is unknown but there is speculation that he might set up shop with former colleague Rex Osborn. Neither could be reached for comment as PRWeek went to press.

Nayyar spent 16 years at Citigate Public Affairs, rising to the position of MD, before joining Edelman in early 2006. At Edelman, Nayyar has reported to the agency’s London deputy CEO and MD of public affairs Susan Eastoe.

His decision to leave follows a reshuffle which saw Eastoe given extra responsibilities and deputy MD Alex Bigg take over as MD of the London public affairs team. Nayyar was offered a broader European remit as part of the reshuffle.

The shake-up of the public affairs team follows the recent ousting of Stuart Smith as Edelman UK CEO and his replacement by JCPR co-founder Robert Phillips (PRWeek, 27 April). Speaking to PRWeek this week, Phillips confirmed that Nayyar had resigned in the past few days.

Nayyar’s decision to leave Edelman comes days after PRWeek revealed that his former colleague Rex Osborn had quit as MD of Citigate Public Affairs. One senior agency source this week suggested that the two men were planning to start up a new PA venture. But key players in the lobbying industry said a collaboration between Nayyar, a staunch Conservative, and Labour-supporting Osborn was unlikely. One agency boss said he would be ‘amazed’ if it happened.

There has also been speculation that Osborn will reunite with his former boss Warwick Smith, who quit Citigate last year to become managing partner of newly formed College Public Policy (PRWeek, 20 October 2006). However, Smith this week insisted that nothing had been agreed with Osborn.

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