Inchcape, the international distribution group, is to cut back its
corporate affairs function in light of the group’s proposed
Paul Barber, group director of corporate affairs, will leave the group
when the demerger has been completed, some time before June 1999.
The group corporate affairs department, which last year won ’In-house
Department of the Year’ at the PR Week Awards, is to be scaled down over
coming months and will be replaced with corporate affairs functions at
the three companies formed from the demerger.
Barber was offered the post-demerger job of corporate affairs director
at the motor company to be based in London but turned it down.
Around a third of Inchcape’s 14 corporate affairs staff will leave, the
first of which will go in September. The rest will be found jobs in the
Barber has called a strategy meeting for his worldwide corporate affairs
team to take place next month. Details of the new corporate affairs
structure will be discussed along with a review of existing agencies and
a potential increase in agency support.
Inchcape hired Brunswick a month ago to help on the unveiling of its
demerger plans. This relationship is unlikely to change ahead of the
Agencies facing review include Burson-Marsteller in Russia and Asia and
Hill and Knowlton in the Middle East.
Inchcape plans to sell off its Russian bottling services and global
shipping interests to focus on its motor distribution activities which
will remain in London. It will form two independent businesses through
the demerger of its South American bottling services and global
Barber, who sits on Inchcape’s board, says he will consider in-house or
consultancy vacancies. He was promoted to board level in April 1996
following the retirement of previous corporate affairs director John