DoH obesity initiative boss Brent quits to join BSkyB

overweightFormer Boots marketer Andy Brent has left the Department of Health after just five months as director of its £75m obesity initiative. He has joined BSkyB as group brand marketing director.

His departure from the DoH after such a short tenure comes as no surprise to some. Insiders say he had been looking to go back to the commercial world after it became apparent he was getting increasingly frustrated with the bureaucracy at the Whitehall department.

Brent will take over the role, left vacant by group director of communications and brand marketing Matthew Anderson, in October. Anderson left in April to join sister company News Corporation.

He will report to chief executive Jeremy Darroch, and sit on Sky’s executive committee when he joins next month, controlling an advertising budget of about £100m.

Brent will lead a team that includes head of brand marketing Robert Tansey, former John Lewis marketer Christian Cull, who oversees customer communications, and former Orange marketer Alex Lewis, who handles marketing for Sky Networks.

Brent left Boots after less than a year in response to being sidelined to a group brand role when Eliza≠beth Fagan was brought in as marketing director for UK retail (MW April 17).

He was subsequently appointed by the DoH to run its £75m anti-obesity pitch (MW April 24).

Brent will be replaced by Sheila Mitchell, currently deputy director of marketing communications at the DoH.

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