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New comms chief for Virgin

Virgin Atlantic Airways has appointed former BBC presenter and reporter Paul Charles as its new Director of Corporate Communications.  Paul, 34, who will join Virgin in March, is currently Director of Communications for the high-speed rail service, Eurostar.

He was voted as PR Professional of the Year at the 2004 PR Week Awards.

Making the announcement, Steve Ridgway, Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Executive said:

“We’re very pleased to secure Paul Charles who has huge energy and drive as well as experience on both sides of the fence.  This has made him very adept whether interviewing powerful CEO’s and often irascible Chairmen while at the BBC to pushing the cause of a single master more recently at Eurostar.

“I’d also like to thank Paul Moore for his amazing contribution to Virgin Atlantic.  He can look back with huge pride on his time at Virgin Atlantic. The spectrum was vast - from huge growth in the late 90’s and iconic inaugurals to new markets to the trauma and re-trenchment of 9/11, SARS and Iraq and back now the excitement of growth, new routes, new aircraft and new stunts.”


Commenting on his appointment, Paul Charles said:

“Virgin Atlantic has a strong growth plan which will help to set the agenda in the airline industry in the coming years. Now is the right time to join such an innovative company and help build a global communications strategy for the future.”

Paul Charles’ career began at BBC News where, over a 10-year period, he reported for a range of programmes including BBC TV’s Business Breakfast and The Money Programme, and BBC Radio’s Today, MoneyBox and Financial World Tonight.

In 2000, he joined FTSE software company Misys as Editor-in-Chief of the Internet Division, before becoming Head of Communications for Misys plc.

Then, in 2003, Paul was appointed as Director of Communications at Eurostar, where he spearheaded the launch of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

Since then, he has contributed to rebuilding Eurostar’s image, his team having won several awards for the quality of their internal and external communications campaigns. 

Paul will report to Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Executive, Steve Ridgway.  Reporting to Paul will be Anna Knowles, Virgin Atlantic’s PR Manager who will continue to manage the airline’s Press Office team.