Barclays suffered another high profile exit this week when group
communications director Elizabeth Wade decided to leave the bank.
Wade took over the role in January 1997 after three years as investor
relations head for Barclays. She worked closely with former chief
executive Martin Taylor who resigned in November amid mounting criticism
of his leadership.
’Five years in a senior communications role at one company is probably
enough and there have been changes in management which make it an
appropriate time to stand aside,’ said Wade. She is due to leave at the
end of the month and has not decided on her next move.
The central communications function has a staff of 70 and handles all
Barclays’ major strategic initiatives. The bank has already split Wade’s
role into three. Her deputy Leigh Bruce takes over as group
communications director. He will handle media relations, internal
communications and public affairs, reporting to acting chief executive
Sir Peter Middleton.
Barclays has four business division. Bruce joined Barclays Capital last
February as communications director and retains the role. The PR heads
of the other three divisions, who all report to their respective chief
executives, are unaffected by the changes.
Sally Shire, currently head of brand management, takes over the new role
of corporate affairs director. She will look after the brand programme,
community and social affairs, and the chairman’s office. Shire reports
to Bruce, the CEO or the chairman as appropriate. Investor relations,
which used to report to Wade, now comes under the aegis of the group
finance director. IR head Ian Roundell is promoted from senior manager
to senior executive.
Taylor appointed Wade to Barclays’ ten-strong executive committee last
July. The bank declined to comment as to whether a communicator would
take her seat.