Teneo co-founder and former Bill Clinton adviser Doug Band quits PR firm

Doug Band, the adviser who helped chart Bill Clinton’s post-presidential career, is resigning from his role as president of Teneo, the global communications and executive advisory firm he co-founded in 2011. 

In an internal email on Monday seen by the Financial Times, Mr Band told colleagues that he was leaving Teneo to focus on expanding his family office, investing in start-ups and teaching. Teneo confirmed his departure in a statement.

His resignation comes one week after Vanity Fair published an article titled “Confessions of a Clintonworld Exile, which detailed the broken relationship between Mr Band and Mr Clinton as well as the former president’s family.

Mr Band, 48, rose from a stint as an unpaid White House intern to become a powerful gatekeeper for the former president, helping launch the Clinton Global Initiative, a foundation that hosted a buzzy annual conference designed to rival the World Economic Forum in Davos.

However, Mr Band’s influence over the former president drove a wedge between him and other advisers, including Mr Clinton’s wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea. Mr Band stopped working with Mr Clinton around the start of 2010 and soon after co-founded Teneo.

In his email to Teneo’s 800-plus staff, Mr Band wrote: “In my first and only career after college, having the honour of working for President Clinton, I only regretted one thing: I wish I had left earlier to pursue other dreams and ideas. This is not a regret I wish to have again. It is then with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to my Teneo family, and what an amazing family it is.”

He added that the firm’s other two co-founders Declan Kelly and Paul Keary were remaining in charge of the company. He said his decision to exit was supported by CVC, the private equity firm that bought control of Teneo in a deal that valued the business at more than $700m last year.

New York-based Teneo has grown rapidly since its launch in 2011, thanks to client relationships with corporations including Coca-Cola, UBS and Dow Chemical as well as a series of acquisitions that have helped it expand internationally.

The firm styles itself as a chief executive advisory service, with a network that has drawn heavily from connections that Mr Band and Mr Kelly built over their careers.

In corporate communications, it competes with firms including Sard Verbinnen & Co, Brunswick and the soon to be created Finsbury Glover Hering. Teneo has also attempted to grow other services including management consulting and risk advisory.

Teneo’s network is in part reflected by its roster of senior advisers, which includes former Xerox chief executive Ursula Burns, former US House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan and former UK Conservative party leader William Hague.

CVC did not respond to a request for comment.

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