Cornelius joined with fellow Gainsborough founder Duncan Murray in a move that saw the end of the Gainsborough name. Murray will remain at College Hill.
‘It just didn’t work out,’ Cornelius told PRWeek. ‘I’ve not yet finalised where I’m going next, but I am talking to a number of interested parties. We’ve handled it in a professional manner.’
Cornelius is due to leave College Hill in November before taking up another role – likely to be in PR or media training. He will leave behind an impressive client list, including the department store Debenhams, car and bike equipment retailer Halfords and supermarket Somerfield.
College Hill founder Alex Sandberg told PRWeek that Cornelius’s departure had been handled amicably.
Earlier this year Gainsborough received two or three approaches from potential buyers, but opted for College Hill after discussions that began back in 2005 (PRWeek, 2 February 2007). Cornelius and Murray received equity at College Hill, becoming partners in March this year.
Also earlier this year, College Hill swooped for five-year-old City agency Stonehenge PR. The agency effectively bought the expertise of the agency heads in a deal that saw founders Geoff Potter and Tim Halford become senior consultants and the Stonehenge name disappear (PRWeek, 4 May 2007).
Before setting up Gainsborough, Cornelius worked at Citigate Dewe Rogerson following 20 years as a journalist.