Bill Muirhead, founding director of M&C Saatchi and one of the advertising industry’s most well-known figures, is joining Millennium Central, the body charged with running the Millennium Exhibition in Greenwich.
Australian-born Muirhead takes up the full-time post as director of corporate communications at Millennium Central this week, where he will be responsible for advertising, public relations and communications.
The move is an extraordinary departure for Muirhead, although it is extremely unlikely that his involvement with M&C will cease.
Muirhead owns a 20 per cent stake in M&C, the agency formed by the Saatchi brothers along with Jeremy Sinclair and David Kershaw when they left Saatchi & Saatchi in 1995.
He has worked closely with the Conservative Party, a key M&C client, and was a senior figure in the 1983 and 1987 election campaigns run by Saatchi. He also ran Saatchi’s North American operation.
Muirhead will work with Millennium Central’s chairman Bob Ayling, who is also chief executive of British Airways, one of M&C’s largest clients.
Today (Wednesday), Millennium Central officially becomes a quango, with Roger Freeman, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and minister of public service as its sole shareholder.
Muirhead is Millennium Central’s first management appointment since chief executive Jennifer Page took up her post last month.
Page is now putting in place a management structure and has started a search for a marketing director and director of commercial development.