H&K brings in Smith to boost corporate pharma work

Stuart Smith, the former Edelman UK CEO who was squeezed out in April, has resurfaced at rival agency Hill & Knowlton.

Smith: aims to accelerate growth

Smith joins on 1 November as chairman of corporate and healthcare UK, a position specially created for him. Smith will be a member of the agency’s six-strong executive committee which includes Richard Millar, head of consumer, and head of corporate affairs Tim Fallon. Smith will also join H&K’s board.

Seven divisional directors will report into Smith, who reports into UK CEO Sally Costerton.

Hill & Knowlton claimed fourth spot in PRWeek’s Top 150 PR Consultancies 2007, after recording a 1 per cent increase in fee income.

Costerton said Smith would help to take the age­ncy to ‘the next level of growth’.

She added: ‘We have just completed our five-year business plan and Stuart’s arrival will give us an opportunity to really accelerate this growth.’

Corporate healthcare will be a key focus for the agency in the coming months, according to Costerton. She identified policy, regulation and corporate reputational work for pharmaceutical companies as priority areas.

Hill & Knowlton MD of corporate comms Stuart Wilson left in February to bec­ome CEO of Manning, Selvage and Lee.

Smith will absorb Wilson’s corporate responsibilities as well as being in charge of the technology and healthcare teams.

Smith has been working as an independent consultant since he was ousted as Edelman UK CEO and replaced by JCPR co-founder Robert Phillips five months ago (PRWeek, 27 April).

Prior to joining Edelman, Smith was head of communications at the Audit Commision.

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