The guy Europe's financial lobby hired to fix its image feels "pipe-and-slippers at home in a disaster zone," the Telegraph once wrote, which makes sense, since he's tried to manage some of the worst PR disasters in recent memory.
Andrew Gowers represented Lehman Brothers in London from 2006, but lost his job when the firm collapsed in 2008. He moved on to BP, where he was on duty for the Deepwater Horizon explosion and Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and oversaw its subsequent PR disaster. Once BP caught its breath, the company fired him in a revamp of its communications department. In fact, Gowers career in public relations was born of disaster: He had worked as a journalist for most of his career, becoming editor of the Financial Times, but he left that position ("not entirely voluntarily," he told the Telegraph) in 2006, when the paper lost a libel suit under his watch.
By now Gowers has lots of experience in how to handle bad news, and he's been the personal recipient of plenty. As head of publicity for the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (which represents all the big European and U.S. banks operating in the continent), he's going to have the unenviable job of spinning bankers' public image while the euro zone grapples with widespread austerity measures. Gowers "has been working as a consultant to AFME for the last three months, helping edit the AFME book Investing in Change," Reuters reports. He may or may not find success delivering the bankers' message, but at least experience shows Gowers will survive.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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