WMA loses its U.K. chief to rival


LONDON -- WMA U.K. chief Caroline Michel has jumped ship to become chief executive of rival British agency PFD.

One of the U.K.'s most established and largest talent agencies, PFD's roster of clients includes Keira Knightley, Richard Curtis, Kate Winslet, Mike Leigh and Alan Bennett.

The agency's parent company, CSS Stellar, made the appointment public Wednesday, with Michel's hire attributed to the efforts of CSS executive chairman David Buchler. He described the hire as "part of the long-term reshaping of CSS as we seek out the right people across all our business areas and place them within the group to make significant impact over the long term."

Buchler also described Michel's exit from WMA as "entirely amicable" and said she is scheduled to start "shortly."

Michel said the opportunity to join PFD was "unmissable."

"The challenge is to build on the company's successes and develop the business recognizing that the entertainment sector is the fastest-growing industry in the world," she said.

Michel added that WMA was "a wonderful place to work" and that it had given her the opportunity to "work alongside some of the best people in the business."

She said: "I have loved being there, and I am sure that there will be many mutual opportunities to explore with WMA in the future."

Michel has headed the London arm of WMA since August 2005, joining the outpost after a career in publishing.

Buchler fronts a consortium of investors that last month acquired a 30% stake in PFD for £4 million ($8 million).

PFD management has spent recent months trying to persuade CSS Stellar to accept a $8 million management buyout, a move that has been rejected by the new board.