Google indicated a new direction yesterday with the creation of a new role. Former UK communications chief Peter Barron will be taking on the position of director of external relations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Barron joined Google in 2008, after four years at the BBC as editor of Newsnight. Former Times technology correspondent Mike Harvey will be taking over Barron's PR role, continuing the company's tendency to recruit from the UK's media elite. In addition, unconfirmed rumours are circulating that former Daily Telegraph technology editor Claudine Beaumont will be joining Google soon.
Part of Barron's new job will be building media industry partnerships. Barron told PR Week: "We're already working with the newspaper industry, broadcasters and interest groups on a wide range of projects - from free expression to education to innovation in journalism".
Evolution and privacy
Jonathan Hemus, Insignia Communications director, told PR Week that the move was "an evolution from the primary focus on promoting its services