Dober to leave APCO Brussels after 15 years to become a headhunter – and launch own agency

BRUSSELS: Mark Dober, one of the best-known agency lobbyists in Brussels, is leaving APCO Worldwide after more than 15 years to work as a headhunter and launch his own public affairs and comms business.

Mark Dober
Mark Dober

In a move that will cause major surprise across the public affairs sector, Dober will be joining London-headquartered recruitment firm Ellwood & Atfield’s (E&A) fledgling Brussels office for about two-and-a-half days per week. He will spend the rest of his time running his own public affairs and comms agency.
Dober is currently managing director of APCO’s strategic comms practice in Brussels, having set up the agency’s Brussels office in 1995. His final day with APCO is 30 September. He plans to holiday in Nepal before starting at E&A, and launching his own enterprise – the name of which is currently under wraps - in November.
Dober told Public Affairs News: “I decided over the summer that it was time to do something for myself. I am leaving APCO on good terms - in fact I hope to work with various agencies in the future, including APCO.”
The recruitment of Dober is a coup for E&A, which PAN revealed in May was establishing a permanent Brussels base. Its office in the city has ‘sprl’ status – Brussels’ equivalent of ‘ltd’ – which, the company said at the time, meant it was the first dedicated PA headhunters to have a full-time Brussels presence. Paul McHale, the office’s launch director, will be working alongside Dober, who joins E&A’s Brussels board.
Before starting APCO’s Brussels office, Dober worked for rival agency Hill & Knowlton in both London and Brussels. His main industry area of expertise is healthcare, with him having represented interests including the leading European pharmaceutical, diagnostic and medical technology associations. He has also been involved with corporate responsibility and political programmes in Africa.
E&A is tonight (Thursday 16 September) holding a party at its office on Boulevard St Michel to celebrate its opening in the city – and unveil Dober as its own new recruit.

16th September 2010 by Ian Hall

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