NEWS22 August 2011

Harris ops director launches new fieldwork agency


UK— Harris Interactive’s former director of research operations Dave Laybourne has launched a new fieldwork agency after acquiring his old employer’s Stockport-based call centre in an asset transfer.

Laybourne was made redundant when Harris trimmed its UK operations this year and approached the company about taking over the Stockport call centre and running it as a separate business. Harris agreed, and Peak Answers – the new business – is the result.

Laybourne said that the new company will retain all the call centre staff previously employed by Harris and will continue to carry out telephone interviewing services for the firm.

He said: ”The demand for high quality telephone data collection remains strong, and with a call centre that has been in continuous operation for over 30 years, I am confident that my team brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the wider market research industry.”

Former Harris research group head Diane Firth and call centre manager Jean Seddon are also employed at the firm as consultant and call centre manager respectively.

Laybourne says he plans to expand the business into other areas of fieldwork services, such as sample sourcing, coding and qualitative recruitment.

Harris Interactive is currently going through a period of “rightsizing” under interim CEO Al Algrisani, who was brought in in June to return the company to profitability. The company has shut down its Asian operations and announced plans to reduce its leased office space in the US and UK. Headcount has also been reduced in the UK.