Byrne exit leaves Boots in the lurch

Alliance Boots' director of cor­porate affairs Emma Byrne has quit after just six months, leaving the communications team reporting to HR.

The company was recently acquired by private equity firm KKR and is currently embroiled in the reputational and institutional fall-out from the deal.

Byrne, former director of comms at online bank Egg and ex-wife of Weber Shandwick CEO Colin, was unavailable for comment. She joined Allied Boots after last year’s merger (PRWeek, 15 September 2006).

It is unlikely that Byrne will be replaced. Former head of financial media Donal McCabe has been being given the title director of corporate communications.

McCabe now reports to corporate HR director Stephen Lehane, as does head of UK and EU public affairs Peter Gibson and head of CSR Richard Ellis.

Alliance Boots’ investor relations function has been made redundant by the KKR deal and director of investor relations Gerald Gradwell’s post will be scrapped.

Byrne is understood to have quit in March, but has been ‘available to the CEO’ since. McCabe said she quit without a job to go to because the role ‘was not for her.’

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