Charles Skeeles, Shandwick’s new CEO China, got a rousing send off from
Shandwick Consultants last week. A touch eager perhaps as the poor man
doesn’t start there until November.
I was most impressed by the dancing lions, but it was Martin Rowland’s
speech that really stood out - a kind of death by a thousand cuts. The
two met at Ogilvy and Mather in the 1980s when Rowland got in the way of
a snowball thrown by Skeeles. ‘It was the only time he ever apologised,’
Indeed, as Rowland recalled, Skeeles’ diplomatic skills are legendary.
Once when he was remonstrating with his colleague, Skeeles grabbed a set
of household bills from his hand and promptly fed them into the office
shredding machine. Little surprise then, to find that Skeeles’ business
card, when translated from the Chinese, gives his title as CEO, China, a
post previously filled by Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.