Paul Birkett, Barclays marketing integration director and former group head of marketing at the Woolwich, is leaving at the end of October without a job to go to.
Both Barclays and Birkett claim that his departure has been planned for some time. Birkett says: “The project I was working on has reached a natural conclusion, and I want to look for a fresh challenge.”
Since October 2001, Birkett has been working with Barclays group marketing director Simon Gulliford, developing strategies to centralise the banking group’s marketing operations. Gulliford, who joined Barclays in 2001 (MW April 12, 2001) from publishing group EMAP – where he was marketing director of consumer magazines – has been behind a significant shift in Barclays’ marketing strategy, away from a portfolio of brands and towards a single brand focus. Gulliford also appointed Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) to replace Leagas Delaney, the agency responsible for the controversial “Big” campaign (MW August 2, 2001).
A Barclays spokesman says: “Paul Birkett’s job was to set standards and put procedures in place to achieve uniformity.” Birkett had already been responsible for centralising the Woolwich’s marketing operations in 1999 (MW December 2, 1999).
Birkett says that he will be looking for another senior marketing position, although he is unsure whether he wants to continue working in the financial services industry.