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Apology Declan Kelly resigns as CEO and chair of Teneo after drunken incident at high profile charity event

According to a statement, Mr Kelly “became inebriated and behaved inappropriately towards women and men” at a cocktail party


Declan Kelly. Photo: Getty

Declan Kelly. Photo: Getty

Declan Kelly. Photo: Getty

Multi-millionaire PR mogul and Tipperary hurling sponsor Declan Kelly has resigned as CEO and chair of Teneo, the strategy firm he co-founded.

It follows a drunken incident at a high profile charity event in the US last month,

The Teneo Board of Directors today released a statement saying 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.”

It went on to thank Mr Kelly, the brother of Labour leader Alan Kelly, for his “leadership and dedication over the past ten years in building Teneo into the world’s preeminent CEO advisory firm”.

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

Mr Kelly said in a statement: “On May 2 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.

“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.”

According to a statement put out last Thursday by a spokesperson, Mr Kelly “became inebriated and behaved inappropriately towards women and men” at a cocktail party for a fundraising concert hosted by Global Citizen on May 2.

The event, which was chaired by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and featured performances by Jennifer Lopez and Selena Gomez, was raising money for a global Covid vaccine campaign.

Mr Kelly has also resigned his board seat at Global Citizen, an anti-poverty charity chaired by Chris Stadler, the managing partner of CVC Capital Partners, the majority shareholder in Teneo.

Mr Kelly was asked for his resignation the day after the event.

On Saturday General Motors, one of the Teneo’s biggest corporate clients, cut ties with the company.

Details remain scant on what transpired at the cocktail party after the event, which also featured Foo Fighters, Eddie Vedder and J Balvin.

However, a source described Kelly as intoxicated and stumbling at the event.

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Sources say there is an acceptance by Mr Kelly, and across the business, that his actions would have been inappropriate at any event.

More to follow...

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