Plans for a restructuring of British Airways’ in-house PR
department aimed at improving staff communications and morale were under
threat this week after their architect, communications director Kevin
Murray, left the company.
BA’s new communications chief Simon Walker was brought in from the
airline’s corporate and financial PR agency, Brunswick, on Friday last
week, the day after Murray suddenly departed. BA insists that Murray
left by mutual consent. No announcement has been made on whether
Murray’s internal restructure will be scrapped. ’I’m not making any
changes at the moment,’ said Walker.
Murray was hired on a brief to bolster staff morale and change the
internal culture at BA. Under his restructuring, account managers were
to provide internal and external communications plans for different
groups of BA employees. Murray was actively recruiting three senior PR
advisers to add to his team.
However sources claim Ayling became dissatisfied with Murray’s lack of
heavyweight contacts in media and City circles. Walker, on the other
hand, is an experienced public affairs and City operator. A partner at
Brunswick since 1994, he has worked as a special adviser to John
Brunswick was brought in over Murray’s head, on Ayling’s orders, as an
adviser during the airline’s cabin crew strike last summer. Brunswick
has since worked very closely with Ayling.