The World Trade Organisation’s director of information and media
relations, David Woods, is joining US investment bank Goldman Sachs as
its first in-house director of media relations for Europe.
Woods who is based at WTO’s headquarters in Geneva, joins Goldman Sachs’
London office at the beginning of July with responsibility for the
firm’s European PR.
He is likely to be the first of several hirings as the firm overhauls
its PR operation.
Richard Sermon, who has been filling the role since 1992 on secondment
from Goldman Sachs’ PR firm Shandwick, said Woods’ appointment was ‘the
first stage in building a complete communications capability for Goldman
Sachs on a worldwide basis’.
Woods who has held senior posts in the Departments of Energy and
Employment, before moving to the DTI as chief press officer said that
the prospect of working at Goldman Sachs with Peter Sutherland - who
joined the bank from WTO one year ago - was ‘too tempting to ignore’.
The appointment has major ramifications for Shandwick, which was
originally brought in on a project basis to handle the fall-out from the
Maxwell fraud trial but was then handed the task of overhauling the
bank’s PR operations worldwide. Once worth between pounds 2 million and
pounds 3 million in fees, the account has been scaling down since the
end of the Maxwell trial in January.
Sermon said it was too early to comment on what would happen to the
agency contract, or his own future. He said: ‘The existing team remains
in place to the end of September in its present form.’