GEC is creating the role of director of corporate communications,
as managing director George Simpson completes a strategic overhaul of
the defence and electronics group.
Corporate communications is currently run by PR manager Philip Preloar
but it is thought that the new appointee will occupy a much more senior
A raft of new appointments since Simpson’s arrival at GEC a year ago are
a reflection of his wish to implement a more formal communications
structure at GEC and his own desire to work closely with his corporate
Sir Geoffrey Pattie, a former Tory defence minister, recently arrived as
GEC’s first marketing director. Sarah Morrison also joined the board to
work on community relations. A strategic development director, Jack
Fryer, has also been appointed.
Simpson is focusing upon repositioning GEC’s joint ventures and
refocusing on GEC-Marconi, its defence and space division.
But the firm’s public image has suffered along the way. Last year GEC
faced public criticism for handing Simpson a remuneration package worth
up to pounds 10 million over five years. Some saw this as misjudged amid
backlashes against so-called ’fat cats’. Simpson was paid over pounds 1
million for his first six months at the company.
GEC uses Brunswick to manage some elements of its corporate PR, plus
Lowe Bell on a project basis.