Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

City Spy

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

City Spy

Article excerpt

A FEW days away playing golf with the lads needs minimal planning, other than to throw a couple of sweaters in a suitcase and remember to take the clubs. But not, so it seems, for Sir Patrick Sheehy, former boss of British American Tobacco. His recent golf trip to Cuba entailed a scheduled flight to Toronto (there are no flights direct from the US to Cuba) followed by an executive jet to Havana. During the connecting flight, Sheehy must have been keeping his fingers crossed the plane wasn't forced to touch down in the US. There, thanks to his involvement with Sherritt International, a Canadian mining company with interests in banned Cuba, the authorities class him alongside terrorists and drug traffickers and he would be arrested as soon as he came down the steps.

WILL British Airways' former dynamic executive duo of Martin George and Iain Burns be reunited? The two quit BA in the autumn as a result of the transatlantic investigation into alleged price-fixing by international airlines. Now Burns, pictured, has reappeared in the lucrative position of head of communications at Etihad, the ambitious Gulf airline fired by the petrodollars of the government of Abu Dhabi.

Etihad is also advertising for a new head of marketing - a perfect job for George, the former commercial chief of BA?

* BURNS' appointment puts him head to head with his old mucker Steve Double, the troubleshooting public relations man who with Burns masterminded BA's spin campaigns during Sir Rod Eddington's stewardship of the carrier. Double, who quit BA a couple of years ago for the, er, bright lights of Cable & Wireless, is now communications adviser to Etihad's bigger Dubai-based rival Emirates.

MORE spinning PRs. Congratulations are in order to Philip Dewhurst, new spokesman for Gazprom in the UK. But might his appointment be the high-water mark in the Russian gas giant's fortunes? …

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