Hutchinson, currently MD and chair of Burson-Marsteller’s UK public affairs practice, will move his focus from purely public affairs to help build StockWell’s more general corporate advisory capabilities.
Meanwhile, Clarence Mitchell has been promoted to lead Burson-Marsteller’s Public Affairs practice following Hutchinson’s departure. Mitchell, who has served as official spokesman for the parents of Madeleine McCann, has been working at B-M as an MD since joining from Lewis PR last year.
Hutchinson previously worked for Weber Shandwick and The Communication Group, as well as in-house at Tube Lines for three years where he managed the external comms response to the 7/7 London terrorist bombings.
StockWell managing partners Tim Burt and Philip Gawith jointly said in a statement: ‘George will add valuable breadth to StockWell’s advisory offer, augmenting the existing team with broad corporate and public affairs experience and insight. These skills are important for client companies, which turn to StockWell for advice on how to protect and promote their reputations in a challenging environment.’
The group, established in late 2010, has so far acted for international companies including Nissan, Xstrata, Alcatel-Lucent and Jaguar Land Rover.
Hutchinson said that StockWell had ‘made a big impact in a short period’, adding: ‘Its focus on helping companies professionalise reputation management fits well with the more challenging reputational environment they now face. I believe my corporate reputation, political and crisis background will be very complementary to the established comms prowess that StockWell already possesses.’
At B-M, Mitchell had been working with the agency’s corporate and public affairs clients since joining from Lewis in September 2011. An ex-BBC journalist, he was formerly a consultant at Freud Communications and also served as director of the UK Government’s media monitoring unit.
B-M UK CEO Matt Carter said: ‘With his strong background in politics, government and the media, Clarence has already impressed both clients and colleagues alike, and he will make a great practice leader. Our PA team has had a fantastic start to 2012 and Clarence has the skills to take this to the next level.’
Mitchell added: ‘Having worked with B-M’s public affairs team, I know they are a fantastically talented group of people. It’s a great time to be working in public affairs and developing the practice into one of the most vibrant and distinctive in the industry is a challenge I absolutely relish.’