Brunswick is to begin the search for a new CEO after Stephen Carter left the City agency this week to be Gordon Brown’s chief strategist.
In a surprise move, Carter joined the Prime Minister’s team after being approached at the end of last year. Brown and Brunswick founder Alan Parker already have close ties – Brown is a godfather to Parker’s son William.
Media commentators are already questioning whether Brunswick’s blue-chip client list – including British Airways, Barclays and Diageo –will present Carter with conflicts of interest.
No shortlist has yet been drawn up for the position at Brunswick, which is thought to be one of the best-paid in UK agency PR.
Brunswick senior partner Susan Gilchrist said that Paris-based senior partner Laurent Perpère would head the agency’s management executive committee until a successor to Carter is found.
Former Ofcom chief executive Carter joined Brunswick in March, having previously been tipped for the top job at ITV (PRWeek, 8 December 2006).
Separately, Brunswick launched its San Francisco office this week, with clients including Gap and Visa.