Three leading figures from the global communications industry have joined Blakeney as Partners to drive the next phase of the company’s growth.

Michael Pooley, Lara Cornwall, and Kate Thurlwell join the Blakeney leadership team, alongside CEO and founder Gabe Winn and Managing Director Jonathan Lomax, as the business reports 50% year-on-year growth in 2021. In the last 12 months, the firm has also doubled in headcount, produced award-winning work, and rapidly expanded its client partnerships.

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Michael Pooley joins Blakeney with over 20 years’ communications experience across the UK, Australia, and Asia Pacific. A former CEO of one of Australia and New Zealand’s largest communications agencies, WPP-owned PPR, Michael was most recently Head of Corporate Affairs for Westpac, Australia’s oldest retail bank.

Lara Cornwall is joining Blakeney from global communications agency BCW, where she was a Senior Director in the Corporate and Public Affairs team. She has over 15 years of experience supporting clients to navigate complex communications challenges across a wide range of sectors.

Both Lara and Michael have worked with some of the world’s most recognisable brands, including Emirates Airlines, McDonald’s, HSBC, and Cambridge International. They will be drawing on their extensive experience to ensure Blakeney remains the go-to agency for creative and strategic communications challenges, while also driving the next phase of the company’s growth.

At the heart of Blakeney’s success is a first-rate team, which has grown rapidly over the past two years. Kate Thurlwell, formerly Chief Talent Officer at global brand agency Exposure, joins Blakeney to lead the growth and development of the team, build on Blakeney’s strong culture, and to ensure Blakeney’s people remain at the heart of the business as it develops new services and moves into new markets.

We’ve been searching for exceptional people to join our senior team, and I’m delighted that we’ve found them. Lara, Michael, and Kate bring deep expertise and masses of experience to Blakeney, and are key to achieving our ambitious plans, delivering more cutting-edge work for our clients, and ensuring Blakeney remains the very best place to build a comms career.

Gabe Winn, CEO and founder of Blakeney,

Blakeney’s strategic focus and passion for creating impact have attracted a roster of impressive clients, including Octopus Energy, Virgin Money, Madison Square Garden Entertainment, The Really Useful Group, Co-op, Systemiq, St Modwen, and Pennon Group.

Blakeney was formed in 2016, and was one of PR Week’s seven new agencies to watch in 2018; the firm also featured in the Top 150 UK PR Agencies for the first time in 2021.

The Partners are the latest in a series of senior hires at Blakeney, which include Louise Mason-Rutherford, Anthony Pickles, Terence Church, and Hannah Butler.