Beattie Communications set for management buyout – after chairman resigns over social media post

Communications agency Beattie is to undergo a rebrand after a planned management buyout (MBO) – and in the wake of its founder resigning over a controversial social media post.

Beattie Communications chief executive Laurna Woods is leading the buyout, which comes after founder and chairman Gordon Beattie stepped down over a post on LinkedIn that was deemed "tone deaf".

The firm said Mr Beattie “will not have any involvement in the new business and the consultancy will rebrand and change its name in the near future”.

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It is yet to reveal the new branding, or the terms of the deal Ms Woods and her team of Elspeth Brown, Joanne Spence, Rachel Gladwin and Chris Gilmour will pay for the agency.

Laurna Woods said 'today marks the start of a new chapter for our people and our clients'. Picture: contributed.

The firm also said it has “one of the best client books in the UK” – with headquarters in London and offices in Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and Belfast.

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Ms Woods said: “There have been discussions about an MBO for some time, and today marks the start of a new chapter for our people and our clients.

“I will be dedicating all my efforts into building a dynamic new agency that is leading in every respect, from the services we provide to the culture we live by. We are fully committed to becoming game-changers in the creative industry and an employer that continues to be equal to all. This will be felt through every touchpoint in our business – from the work we produce to the talent we recruit.

“This buyout will secure the success of a thriving client-focused business. Our new journey starts here.”

Mr Beattie, a former journalist, said: “I wish the management team every success with the business while I focus on my wider interests.”

He had quit after the post on LinkedIn in which he said: "At Beattie Communications we don't hire blacks, gays or Catholics." He added that the company only takes on "talented people" and does not care about their skin colour, sexual orientation or religion.

On resigning, he said he issued the post with the best of intent but accepted that the language was "inappropriate" and said he was "truly sorry" for the offence caused.

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