Cracknell, 39, will leave the broadsheet in January to be a managing director at FD and chairman of its main lobbying arm FD-LLM. He has spent six years at the News International-owned paper.
FD group chief executive Charles Watson, to whom Cracknell will report, has created the chairman role two years after FD took over public affairs specialist LLM.
Still responsible for the bulk of FD’s UK lobbying work, FD-LLM has been through a turbulent time of late, losing three key staff and some notable accounts (see related story).
With only Ben Lucas, now FD-LLM’s deputy chairman, remaining from LLM’s founding trio, speculation is growing that the operation will soon be rebranded again. Cracknell is charged with growing and fully integrating public affairs operations within one of the world’s largest strategic consultancies.
This year FD came second in PRWeek’s Top 150 list of UK PR consultancies, with a turnover of almost £42m. Since September 2006 it has been part of US management and economic consultancy FTI.
A former PRWeek columnist, Cracknell has been The Sunday Times political editor since 2001. He was previously deputy political editor on The Sunday Telegraph, having joined from Sunday Business.
Fiona Mason remains managing director of FD-LLM.