Portland loses Orr to DIT
Liam Fox’s department nabs one of Portland’s top lobbyists.
Portland has been hit by the resignation of one of its longest-serving partners as Toby Orr heads to the Department for International Trade.
Orr has been appointed as director of communications at the recently-established Whitehall department headed by Liam Fox.
He will make the move in April after more than a decade at Portland. Orr joined the firm as an account executive and went on to establish its international team and to lead numerous global campaigns.
Fox heralded the hire, stating: “Toby brings a wealth of experience in developing and implementing communication strategies in a global environment. As Director of Communications, he and his team will deliver a key corporate function for the Department for International Trade, communicating the department’s priorities to our target audiences at home and abroad.”
Portland boss Tim Allan put a brave face on the imminent departure, stating: “I will be sorry to see Toby go, but I am incredibly proud of his Portland career… He has helped build a business which now has over 200 staff on five continents. He leaves behind a great team, an awesome client list and a legacy of innovative and creative work. It’s a credit to him that he leaves Portland for such a critical role at the heart of government”.
The move comes after Portland recently hired James Helm, director of communications at the Department for International Development, as a partner in its international team in London.
Orr said: “It is an honour to be joining the department at such an important time, working to devise and deliver an ambitious communications strategy to advance the UK’s trade agenda and promote Global Britain. I look forward to working closely with colleagues across the department and Whitehall on this exciting mandate.
“I have loved every minute at Portland, being part of a journey that has taken us from a handful of employees to a 200-strong company with offices across the world. No other communications agency gives you the chance to work with such a talented mix of people, doing such interesting work, for such prestigious clients.”