NEWS29 April 2010

Chime’s new research boss hires former Royal Mail colleague

People UK

UK— Chime Communications’ new research chief Crispin Beale has hired former Royal Mail colleague Sinéad Jefferies to lead the research and insight business of group company Opinion Leader.

Jefferies will join the agency – part of Chime’s research and engagement division – in the summer. She is currently head of business intelligence at Royal Mail, a post she assumed more than 18 months ago in the wake of a restructure at the postal service.

It was that restructure that led to the departure of Beale, who previously ran Royal Mail’s Centre for Customer Insight & Competitor Intelligence as director of insight, intelligence and analysis.

On leaving Royal Mail Beale was initially appointed CEO of Facts International, another business within the Chime research and engagement division (along with Caucus World, Naked Eye and Brand Democracy).

Since then, however, he has been promoted to divisional CEO iafter the departure of Opinion Leader founders and divisional chairs Deborah Mattinson and Viki Cooke.

In an exclusive interview with Research last month, Beale talked up the importance of hiring former clientside researchers as he set about rebuilding the group following a “very disappointing” performance in 2009.

He said: “I think that sometimes if you’ve been on the clientside you recognise the need for pragmatism. The quality of research is absolutely paramount but you have to understand how to apply that within an organisation, and sometimes working out how to weed your way through the politics is just as important.”

Of hiring Jefferies, Beale said: “We look forward to Sinéad helping to significantly grow and enhance the Opinion Leader business during this exciting time in our development.”