Declan Kelly resigns as Teneo chief after claims of drunken misconduct

Business

Financial Times 29 June, 2021 - 08:52am 36 views

What did Declan Kelly do?

Declan Kelly (born 1968) is an Irish-American business executive, entrepreneur, and philanthropist best known as the founder, chairman and CEO of Teneo, an international consulting company based in New York City. wikipedia.orgDeclan Kelly (businessman)

Declan Kelly resigns as CEO of Teneo after 'embarrassing mistake'

Irish Examiner 29 June, 2021 - 08:21pm

Declan Kelly, Chief Executive co-founder of public relations and global strategy firm Teneo, has resigned.

His resignation follows allegations of alleged drunken misconduct at a fundraising event in the US early last month.

Mr Kelly said he took "full responsibility" for his "inadvertent, public and embarrassing mistake" at the event, and said that he has apologised to the firm’s clients as well as his colleagues.

"A campaign against the reputation of our firm has followed and may even continue in the coming days,” Mr Kelly said in a statement.

“However, regardless of the veracity of any such matters, I do not want them to be an ongoing distraction to the running of our company.

“In order to protect the employees of Teneo and its clients, and with my family’s strong support, I have decided to leave the company and resign as chairman and CEO.” 

In his resignation statement, Mr Kelly, who is the brother of Labour leader Alan Kelly, thanked Teneo’s clients for their support and loyalty throughout his tenure as CEO.

Declan Kelly had been CEO of Teneo - current sponsor of Tipperary's hurling and gaelic football teams - since the company was founded in 2011.

It is understood Declan Kelly was asked to resign in the wake of the event - a Global Citizen Covid-19 fundraising concert chaired by Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle which took place on May 2.

Teneo Chief Operating Officer and co-founder Paul Keary has now been appointed CEO.

Sign up to to get the latest news direct to your inbox daily at 1pm

© Irish Examiner Ltd, Linn Dubh, Assumption Road, Blackpool, Cork. Registered in Ireland: 523712.

PR boss resigns over drunken misconduct after Harry and Meghan bash

Telegraph.co.uk 29 June, 2021 - 11:17am

Declan Kelly has left his roles as chairman and chief executive at Teneo, which he co-founded in 2011, after already losing his seat on the board of campaign group Global Citizen.

His resignations follow reports last week of an alcohol-fuelled episode at a party linked to a fundraising concert on May 2, where Mr Kelly “became inebriated and behaved inappropriately towards some women and men at the event”, a spokesman said at the time.

Mr Kelly – an adviser to Fortune 500 executives – had helped to organise the event, chaired by Harry and Meghan and put on by Global Citizen, which says it works to end extreme poverty.

He will be immediately replaced by co-founder and chief operating officer Paul Keary.

In a statement, Mr Kelly said: “On May 2nd I made an inadvertent, public and embarrassing mistake for which I took full responsibility and apologised to those directly affected, as well as my colleagues and clients.

“A campaign against the reputation of our firm has followed and may even continue in the coming days. However, regardless of the veracity of any such matters I do not want them to be an ongoing distraction to the running of our company. In order to protect the employees of Teneo and its clients, and with my family’s strong support, I have decided to leave the company.”

Under his leadership Teneo has grown into one of the largest global advisory firms, with over 1,200 employees across 33 offices in the US, Europe and Asia. Since the incident was reported, one of Teneo’s clients, General Motors, has publicly dropped Teneo as an adviser.

Mr Kelly’s exit comes just six months after his co-founder Doug Band resigned as the firm’s president after an article by Vanity Fair detailed his broken relationship with former US president Bill Clinton and his family.

Teneo said: “We are confident that under Paul, and the leadership team, Teneo will continue on its successful path of growth, delivering unique value to clients across its diverse business segments.

“We want to thank Declan for his leadership and dedication over the past 10 years in building Teneo into the world’s pre-eminent CEO advisory firm.”

We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future.

Visit our adblocking instructions page.

Teneo CEO allegedly carried on an affair with female executive

Page Six 29 June, 2021 - 10:40am

June 29, 2021 | 11:40am

Former Clinton fixer Declan Kelly allegedly carried on a not-so-secret affair with a senior female executive at his former firm Teneo, sources exclusively tell Page Six.

Kelly served as the US economic envoy to Northern Ireland in Hillary Clinton’s State Department and co-founded the consulting firm Teneo, which made big bucks peddling access to former President Bill Clinton and the secretary of state.

Kelly, who is married with children and was CEO of Teneo until he stepped down on Tuesday, had allegedly been spending time with a female exec at his company for some time, according to multiple insiders.

Another Teneo insider said of the alleged relationship, “It has been an open secret at the firm.”

Representatives for Teneo did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Page Six on Monday.

Kelly’s lawyer Andrew Levander also declined to comment on the record when contacted by phone Monday evening.

On Tuesday morning, Teneo announced that Kelly was stepping down as the powerful CEO of the firm.

The company said in a statement, “The Teneo Board of Directors regrets to announce that Declan Kelly has advised it of his decision to resign from his role as the company’s Chairman and CEO.

“Teneo Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Paul Keary has been appointed CEO, effective immediately.”

We reported last week that Kelly — who famously fell asleep in a viral video at the 2020 Super Bowl — was kicked off the board of the anti-poverty charity Global Citizen after he was allegedly drunk and acted inappropriately with a number of women at their California Vax Live concert in May of this year.

The event was hosted by Selena Gomez and chaired by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, with performers including Jennifer Lopez. Teneo was one of the lead corporate sponsors of the event.

One source told Page Six that Kelly allegedly acted inappropriately with as many as six women at a VIP party after the concert.

The Financial Times reported of Kelly, “the inappropriate behavior included the non-consensual touching of a number of women.”

A spokesperson for Teneo and Kelly said at the time, “At a party the night of the concert, Declan drank too much and offended some men and women he was talking to.”

Following the incident, the spokesperson added, “He … offered his resignation to Global Citizen.”

In an email to staff last Thursday, Kelly wrote of the Global Citizen Vax Live event, “On May 2nd I attended the taping of the Global Citizen’s Vax Live concert … during the cocktail reception I regretfully became inebriated and behaved inappropriately towards some women and men at the event.”

He added, “This incident has been a huge wake up call for me. I immediately quit drinking and am undergoing counselling from healthcare professionals. I will never drink again.

“I have learned hard lessons and the work that needs to get done is on me and I am doing it right now. It will be an ongoing journey that will last the rest of my life.”

He added he had temporarily reduced his work responsibilities to focus on his health and planned to be back at full capacity as CEO in September.

Following the incident, General Motors cut ties with the firm as its public relations adviser, the Financial Times reported.

Teneo PR firm boss quits over drunken misconduct claims

BBC News 29 June, 2021 - 10:13am

Declan Kelly said he was stepping down as chairman and chief executive after what he called "an inadvertent, public and embarrassing mistake".

He gave no further details, but media reports said Mr Kelly was accused of touching a number of women inappropriately without their consent.

He said he had apologised to those involved and took full responsibility.

In a separate statement, Teneo's board of directors said it had appointed the firm's co-founder and chief operating officer, Paul Keary, as its new chief executive with immediate effect.

It thanked Mr Kelly for his leadership and dedication over the past 10 years in building Teneo into "the world's pre-eminent CEO advisory firm".

In a statement, Mr Kelly said: "On 2 May, I made an inadvertent, public and embarrassing mistake for which I took full responsibility and apologised to those directly affected, as well as my colleagues and clients.

"A campaign against the reputation of our firm has followed and may even continue in the coming days.

"However, regardless of the veracity of any such matters, I do not want them to be an ongoing distraction to the running of our company.

"In order to protect the employees of Teneo and its clients, and with my family's strong support, I have decided to leave the company and resign as chairman and CEO."

Mr Kelly said he had received "countless messages of support" from colleagues, clients, public figures and people who know him well, both personally and professionally.

"Their support and trust is what counts the most. I will be forever grateful to them all," he added.

Supporters celebrate in Mekelle as officials flee the city and the government calls for a ceasefire.

15 sayings from around the world

Teneo CEO Declan Kelly resigns

PR Week 29 June, 2021 - 09:15am

Teneo co-founder and CEO Declan Kelly has stepped down after admitting he had behaved inappropriately at a charity event.

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Communications and engagement officer Oxfordshire County Council Oxford, Oxfordshire

Senior communications and engagement officer Oxfordshire County Council Oxford, Oxfordshire

Counter Terrorism Policing - Senior Communication Manager The Metropolitan Police Service Across London

Counter Terrorism Policing - Deputy Head of Communications The Metropolitan Police Service Across London

Counter Terrorism Policing - Communications Officer The Metropolitan Police Service Across London

Declan Kelly cites ‘campaign against firm’ as he resigns from Teneo

The Irish Times 29 June, 2021 - 08:58am

Sign up for alerts from The Irish Times

Just click on “Allow Notifications” on the message appearing on your browser to activate them.

We will send you a quick reminder in the future, in case you change your mind.

Mr Kelly, an influential adviser to Fortune 500 executives, last week lost his board seat at the campaign group Global Citizen after details of the matter entered the public domain.

Five people briefed on the matter said Mr Kelly behaved inappropriately at a party on May 2nd linked to the high-profile concert put on by Global Citizen.

It was chaired by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and featured artists including Jennifer Lopez and Selena Gomez. The event featured messages from public figures including Pope Francis and US president Joe Biden.

Two of these people and one person with direct knowledge claimed that the inappropriate behaviour included the non-consensual touching of a number of women.

Teneo said in a statement on Tuesday that Kelly would resign and would be replaced by co-founder and chief operating officer Paul Keary “effective immediately”.

In a statement on the company’s website, Mr Kelly said there had been “a campaign” against the reputation of the firm that “may continue” in the coming days.

“On May 2nd I made an inadvertent, public and embarrassing mistake for which I took full responsibility and apologised to those directly affected, as well as my colleagues and clients,” he said.

“A campaign against the reputation of our firm has followed and may even continue in the coming days. However, regardless of the veracity of any such matters I do not want them to be an ongoing distraction to the running of our company.

“In order to protect the employees of Teneo and its clients, and with my family’s strong support, I have decided to leave the company and resign as chairman and CEO.”

Mr Kelly, who is a brother of Labour Party leader Alan Kelly, said Teneo “will remain the best in the world at what it does, a firm whose success has been driven by three virtues – hard work, decency and compassion”.

“Over recent days I have received countless messages of support from my colleagues, clients, public figures and people who know me well both personally and professionally,” he continued.

“Their support and trust is what counts the most. I will be forever grateful to them all. I want to thank our hundreds of clients around the world for their support of our business and their loyalty to our people.

“You are the reason Teneo exists. And to my 1,250 colleagues worldwide, I will continue to be your biggest supporter.”

In the company statement, the Teneo board of directors said it “regrets to announce that Declan Kelly has advised it of his decision to resign from his role as the company’s chairman and CEO”.

“Teneo co-Founder and chief operating officer Paul Keary has been appointed CEO, effective immediately.

“The board believes strongly in Teneo’s unique CEO advisory model, global reach and ability to deliver differentiated value to our clients.

“We are confident that under Paul, and the leadership team, Teneo will continue on its successful path of growth, delivering unique value to clients across its diverse business segments.”

The board said it wanted to thank Mr Kelly “for his leadership and dedication over the past 10 years in building Teneo into the world’s preeminent CEO advisory firm”.

“Thanks to Declan’s leadership, and the efforts of its excellent management team, Teneo today serves the world’s leading companies with a deep bench of experienced advisors across a number of disciplines,” the board added.

“With 1,250 employees in 33 offices around the world, he is leaving the company in a strong position for continued success.”

In a statement last week after details of the allegations emerged, a spokesman for Mr Kelly said he became inebriated at the event.

“At a large cocktail party that evening attended by dozens of people including Global Citizen board members and guests, Mr Kelly became inebriated and behaved inappropriately towards some women and men at the event,” he said.

The spokesman added that Mr Kelly “deeply regrets his actions” and had apologised to those he had offended. His spokesman said he had “temporarily reduced his work responsibilities”, was “committed to sobriety”, and was “undertaking ongoing counselling”.

Mr Kelly, a native of Portroe in Tipperary, began his career in the media business as a reporter with the Nenagh Guardian, before entering public relations in Dublin and later in the US.

He is known for advising some of the world’s largest companies on how to position themselves as responsible social actors.

Teneo CEO Kelly resigns after misconduct allegations

RTE.ie 29 June, 2021 - 08:21am

Meáin Náisiúnta Seirbhíse Poiblí na hÉireann

Declan Kelly has resigned as chief executive and chairman of strategy company Teneo after allegations of drunken misconduct at a fundraising concert.

Mr Kelly had earlier lost his board seat at the campaign group Global Citizen and ceded some of his responsibilities as head of Teneo after the allegations.

The 1,250-person public relations firm has 33 offices around the world and describes itself as "the world's leading CEO advisory firm".

In a brief statement, the company said that its co-founder and chief operating officer Paul Keary has been appointed CEO, effective immediately.

In a statement, Teneo thanked Mr Kelly for his "leadership and dedication over the past ten years in building Teneo into the world’s preeminent CEO advisory firm".

Mr Kelly was accused of behaving inappropriately at a party in May linked to the high-profile concert put on by Global Citizen.

© RTÉ 2021. RTÉ.ie is the website of Raidió Teilifís Éireann, Ireland's National Public Service Media. RTÉ is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Teneo Says Declan Kelly Has Resigned as Chairman, CEO

The Wall Street Journal 29 June, 2021 - 08:10am

Mr. Kelly, a go-to adviser for CEOs of major companies such as General Electric Co. and Coca-Cola Co. , is handing over the reins to Teneo co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Paul Keary, Teneo said.

Mr. Kelly apologized last week and said he would reduce his responsibilities after getting drunk and behaving inappropriately with people at an event hosted by the charity Global Citizen in early May. Mr. Kelly was drunk and touched women without their consent at the event, the Financial Times and others reported.

Global Citizen removed Mr. Kelly from its board on May 3 and last week General Motors Co. dropped Teneo as an adviser after the details emerged.

“In order to protect the employees of Teneo and its clients, and with my family’s strong support, I have decided to leave the company and resign as Chairman and CEO,” Mr. Kelly said in a statement.

You will be charged $ + tax (if applicable) for The Wall Street Journal. You may change your billing preferences at any time in the Customer Center or call Customer Service. You will be notified in advance of any changes in rate or terms. You may cancel your subscription at anytime by calling Customer Service.

Please click confirm to resume now.

The chief executive of Teneo, an influential advisory firm, steps down.

The New York Times 29 June, 2021 - 07:40am

Declan Kelly, the chief executive of Teneo, the go-to advisory and communications firm for many of the world’s largest companies, said on Tuesday that he would step down. The firm, which specializes in crisis communications, has been dealing with its own turmoil after reports of Mr. Kelly’s drunken misconduct at a charity event last month.

The firm’s chief operating officer, Paul Keary, was appointed as Mr. Kelly’s replacement, effective immediately, Teneo’s board said in a statement on Tuesday.

The news comes after reports surfaced that Mr. Kelly was asked to leave the board of the nonprofit organization Global Citizen after his misconduct at an event hosted by the charity on May 2. The event, an after party for the Vax Live concert, was hosted by Selena Gomez, with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle serving as chairs. It featured a video appearance from President Biden and in-person musical performances from celebrities including Jennifer Lopez.

Mr. Kelly was “inebriated and behaved inappropriately towards some women and men,” according to a statement from Mr. Kelly’s representative, provided to The New York Times before his resignation. The exact details of what occurred at the event remain unclear, even to top executives at the firm.

Shortly after that May event, Mr. Kelly told the firm’s roughly 40-member senior leadership team that he would cut back on some of his duties to deal with an unspecified health issue.

But most of the rest of Teneo’s employees, as well as the firm’s clients, found out about the incident last week from an article in The Financial Times. Afterward, the firm began to reach out to clients. And Mr. Kelly called for a staff meeting to discuss the article.

Mr. Kelly had planned to resume his normal duties after Labor Day.

“I’ve seen a number of crisis communications challenges over the course of my career — this one is especially challenging because the firm and Mr. Kelly are in the business,” said Tony D’Angelo, a professor of Public Relations at Syracuse University. “This is like a celebrity chef who burns dinner on a global broadcast.”

The fallout has been swift. Last week, General Motors, which became a client of Teneo this year, severed ties with the firm. Many others have questioned the firm about what happened at the event.

“On May 2nd I made an inadvertent, public and embarrassing mistake for which I took full responsibility and apologized to those directly affected, as well as my colleagues and clients,” Mr. Kelly said in a statement. “A campaign against the reputation of our firm has followed and may even continue in the coming days. However, regardless of the veracity of any such matters I do not want them to be an ongoing distraction to the running of our company.”

Teneo was founded by Mr. Kelly, Mr. Keary and Doug Band in 2011 and has 1,250 employees. It gives advice to some of the country’s largest companies, like Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical and I.B.M. Its prominent advisers include former Speaker Paul Ryan and the former Xerox chief executive Ursula Burns.

“This is a friend of mine who definitely had a bad occurrence — and he has to deal with that, and he’s dealing with that as we go forward,” Ms. Burns said Tuesday. She called Teneo a “good firm.”

Mr. Kelly’s resignation is the second prominent departure from the firm in the last two years. Mr. Band, a former close adviser to President Bill Clinton, stepped down as president of the firm last year. Both had positioned themselves as well-connected faces of the firm.

Teneo’s board said in its statement that it “believes strongly in Teneo’s unique C.E.O. advisory model, global reach and ability to deliver differentiated value to our clients.”

“We are confident that under Paul, and the leadership team, Teneo will continue on its successful path of growth, delivering unique value to clients across its diverse business segments,” the board said.

CVC Capital Partners, a private equity firm, acquired a majority stake in Teneo two years ago, valuing it at about $700 million. A managing partner of CVC, Chris Stadler, is on the board of Global Citizen, which hosted the event at which Mr. Kelly acted inappropriately. CVC declined to comment.

The chief executive of Teneo, an influential advisory firm, steps down.

The New York Times 29 June, 2021 - 07:40am

Declan Kelly, the chief executive of Teneo, the go-to advisory and communications firm for many of the world’s largest companies, said on Tuesday that he would step down. The firm, which specializes in crisis communications, has been dealing with its own turmoil after reports of Mr. Kelly’s drunken misconduct at a charity event last month.

The firm’s chief operating officer, Paul Keary, was appointed as Mr. Kelly’s replacement, effective immediately, Teneo’s board said in a statement on Tuesday.

The news comes after reports surfaced that Mr. Kelly was asked to leave the board of the nonprofit organization Global Citizen after his misconduct at an event hosted by the charity on May 2. The event, an after party for the Vax Live concert, was hosted by Selena Gomez, with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle serving as chairs. It featured a video appearance from President Biden and in-person musical performances from celebrities including Jennifer Lopez.

Mr. Kelly was “inebriated and behaved inappropriately towards some women and men,” according to a statement from Mr. Kelly’s representative, provided to The New York Times before his resignation. The exact details of what occurred at the event remain unclear, even to top executives at the firm.

Shortly after that May event, Mr. Kelly told the firm’s roughly 40-member senior leadership team that he would cut back on some of his duties to deal with an unspecified health issue.

But most of the rest of Teneo’s employees, as well as the firm’s clients, found out about the incident last week from an article in The Financial Times. Afterward, the firm began to reach out to clients. And Mr. Kelly called for a staff meeting to discuss the article.

Mr. Kelly had planned to resume his normal duties after Labor Day.

“I’ve seen a number of crisis communications challenges over the course of my career — this one is especially challenging because the firm and Mr. Kelly are in the business,” said Tony D’Angelo, a professor of Public Relations at Syracuse University. “This is like a celebrity chef who burns dinner on a global broadcast.”

The fallout has been swift. Last week, General Motors, which became a client of Teneo this year, severed ties with the firm. Many others have questioned the firm about what happened at the event.

“On May 2nd I made an inadvertent, public and embarrassing mistake for which I took full responsibility and apologized to those directly affected, as well as my colleagues and clients,” Mr. Kelly said in a statement. “A campaign against the reputation of our firm has followed and may even continue in the coming days. However, regardless of the veracity of any such matters I do not want them to be an ongoing distraction to the running of our company.”

Teneo was founded by Mr. Kelly, Mr. Keary and Doug Band in 2011 and has 1,250 employees. It gives advice to some of the country’s largest companies, like Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical and I.B.M. Its prominent advisers include former Speaker Paul Ryan and the former Xerox chief executive Ursula Burns.

“This is a friend of mine who definitely had a bad occurrence — and he has to deal with that, and he’s dealing with that as we go forward,” Ms. Burns said Tuesday. She called Teneo a “good firm.”

Mr. Kelly’s resignation is the second prominent departure from the firm in the last two years. Mr. Band, a former close adviser to President Bill Clinton, stepped down as president of the firm last year. Both had positioned themselves as well-connected faces of the firm.

Teneo’s board said in its statement that it “believes strongly in Teneo’s unique C.E.O. advisory model, global reach and ability to deliver differentiated value to our clients.”

“We are confident that under Paul, and the leadership team, Teneo will continue on its successful path of growth, delivering unique value to clients across its diverse business segments,” the board said.

CVC Capital Partners, a private equity firm, acquired a majority stake in Teneo two years ago, valuing it at about $700 million. A managing partner of CVC, Chris Stadler, is on the board of Global Citizen, which hosted the event at which Mr. Kelly acted inappropriately. CVC declined to comment.

Business Stories