BT poaches Burson-Marsteller's tech head

Burson-Marsteller's head of tech has moved in-house, taking one of the top internal roles at telecoms giant BT.

BT: comms overhaul
BT: comms overhaul

Chantal Bowman left Burson-Marsteller at the end of last month after almost three years, and has yet to be replaced at the agency's London office (PRWeek, 28 March).

Bowman has joined BT with the title of 'principal, internal and change communications', reporting to BT head of PR and comms Jennifer Richards. She started on 1 May and now works alongside former GolinHarris colleague Zoe Arden, head of comms at BT Retail.

'We're always on the lookout for extra talent,' said Arden of Bowman's move. 'We have a world-class comms team and we are constantly recruiting.'

Bowman had been a director at Burson-Marsteller, one of nine senior PROs on the UK leadership team. She was responsible for the agency's tech clients, as well as acting as the UK lead for B-M's change and organisational performance practice.

The agency's change comms arm has dealt with crises, mergers, lay-offs and other internal issues for clients including McDonald's and Pfizer.

Bowman's hire is seemingly part of an internal comms overhaul at BT, following the decision in 2007 to build a social media network inside the organisation.

Intranet and channel strategy manager Richard Dennison has overseen the creation of the wiki site BTpedia and Facebook-style profiles on the firm's internal directory.

Bowman's in-house switch comes shortly after another former GolinHarris PRO moved to BT from the tech agency. GH associate director Kate Cleevely left last year, and now reports to former colleague Zoe Arden as senior PR manager for business and mobility.

Other recent hires include Dow Jones financial reporter Daniel Thomas, who quit journalism for a role at BT's corporate press office (PRWeek, 28 March).

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