News

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Latest in-house corporate affairs news

Here’s a round-up of the latest in-house corporate affairs moves:

David Cameron’s former head of broadcasting Caroline Preston has been appointed as Director of Comms for the Conservative Party. The appointment follows rumours to that effect from political gossip website Guido Fawkes, which suggested that Conservative Chairman Brandon Lewis was using her proposal to build a power base for a leadership bid. Caroline is understood to have been a key figure in the Remain campaign but will now have to deal with reconciling the party’s divergent views on Brexit.

Over in the realms of the online giants, Uber’s former Head of Comms for Northern & Eastern Europe has found a new home as Communications Director for Northern Europe at Facebook. Alex Belardinelli will be reporting into EMEA Vice President of Comms Chris Norton. He replaces Anouska Ruane, who held a similar role covering a slightly different region. Alex is the former Press Secretary for Ed Balls, and had been with Uber for three and a half years before stepping down at the end of 2018.

FTSE100-listed wealth management firm St James’s Place has appointed Jamie Dunkley as External Comms Director – a newly-created position for SJP, which manages £95.6bn worth of client funds. Jamie comes to the position from professional intermediaries TP ICAP, where he had worked for more than two years, and is now reporting directly to SJP CEO Andrew Croft. The firm had historically outsourced the majority of its comms to Brunswick and Lansons and has never previously employed anyone as senior as Jamie in a comms role.  

Meanwhile, Joanna Manning-Cooper, former Marketing & Comms Leader for England Rugby, has announced she is leaving to join Sky as Group Director of Corporate Affairs. Joanna has been with England Rugby for the last five years, and is currently Director of Digital, Marketing & Communications at the Rugby Football Union. Simultaneously at Sky, Andrew Swailes has accepted a position as Sky’s Group Director of Corporate Comms. Andrew has been with Sky for two years already and will report into Joanna.

At cryptocurrency fintech firm Luno, Roopa Ramaiya has been appointed as Head of Global PR & Communications following two years as Global Head of Comms at Zendesk, a popular customer service software platform. Roopa says her new role will involve "creating a buzz in the exciting world of blockchain and crypto, building a presence in new markets and establishing credibility globally."

Finally, and staying in the tech arena, mobile gaming company Rovio has appointed Jon Howard as their new Head of Comms, taking him from a previous role as Head of PR at competitor Flaregames. Flaregames had a number of smaller successes under their belts such as Nonstop Knight and Zombie Gunship Survival, while Rovio are primarily known as publishers of the mobile gaming mega-hit Angry Birds. Jon has more than a decade’s worth of PR experience and previously worked for ale activism group CAMRA. His role at Rovio will partly focus on the upcoming release of the Angry Birds film in summer 2019.

If you’re starting a new comms role and would like to be included in future round-ups, please contact Tim Harding. You might also be interested in this blog, all about getting the perfect corporate communications team structure.

Birchwood Knight recruits corporate communications professionals to work in-house for organisations large and small across the public, private and voluntary sectors. If you are considering a career move or hiring for your team, we’d love to hear from you. Click here to get in touch.


  • Media relations
  • Internal communications
  • Government affairs & public policy
  • Financial communications
  • Digital corporate communications
  • Speechwriting