Portland is boosting its digital communications unit with the hiring of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Head of Digital, Jimmy Leach.
Jimmy has been at the FCO since 2009, as Head of Digital Diplomacy, where he ran their global 40-language, 250-site web platform and was responsible for their distinctive social media presence, including a growing number of blogging Ministers and Ambassadors around the world. Before that he was Editorial Director for Digital at The Independent. His previous roles have included Head of Digital Communications for Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, Director of Digital for Freud Communications and a variety of web-based jobs at the Guardian.
Jimmy’s main role at Portland will be to spearhead digital work for the agency’s growing roster of international clients. Portland was founded in 2001 and has grown to become an 80-strong agency with specialist practices dealing with Communications, International, Digital and Public Affairs work.
Portland’s digital unit is headed by Mark Flanagan, who ran digital communications at Downing Street under Gordon Brown and David Cameron.
Mark said: “Jimmy is an outstanding leader in digital and will provide first class advice to our clients. With the addition of Jimmy to the team, the unit will go from strength to strength.”
Jimmy said: “I’m looking forward to joining a fantastic team at Portland, people whose skills and insights are unrivalled in the communications business. Equally, I’m excited about the challenges ahead, working with a tremendous roster of clients.”
Jimmy will combine his new post at Portland with a role at Gems Education, a Dubai-based company, as Director of Digital Engagement, where he will be working on building new platform and content strategies.