Teneo CEO Declan Kelly speaks on stage during Global Citizen Presents Global Goal Live: The Possible Dream at St. Ann’s Warehouse on September 26, 2019 in New York City.
Noam Galai | Getty Images
The CEO of leading PR and consulting firm Teneo, who previously served as special envoy for Northern Ireland under the then Foreign Secretary Hillary Clinton, resigned Tuesday after the aftermath of his drunken behavior last month at a high profile charity event.
Declan Kelly’s embarrassing departure came days later General Motors broke up with Teneo because of his behavior and resigned weeks after he stepped down from the board of directors of the nonprofit group Global Citizen that hosted the May 2 event in question.
General Motors was a customer of Teneo, a 1,200-strong company co-founded by Doug Band, a former advisor to the ex-president Bill Clinton.
Besides working for GM, The Teneo reportedly paid an amount of $ 250,000 per month, Kelly has also acted as a consultant for General electrics and coke.
Kelly, who also chaired Teneo, is the brother of Alan Kelly, the leader of the Labor Party in Ireland.
Declan Kelly, who previously worked as a reporter for several newspapers in Ireland, served Hillary Clinton as Special Envoy for Economics from 2009 to 2011 when she headed the State Department under former President Barack Obama. Kelly had also served as an advisor to Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign.
The Wall Street Journal reported last Friday that Kelly’s agent said the PR manager was “intoxicated and behaved inappropriately toward some women and men” at the Global Citizen event.
president Joe Biden had made a video appearance at the event, chaired by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle. Pope Francis also delivered a message to the congregation.
“Since the event two months ago, Mr. Kelly has made an immediate sobriety, provides ongoing medical professional advice and has temporarily reduced his job responsibilities,” his representative said, according to the Journal.
“He has the full support of his family, colleagues, partners and friends.”
This wasn’t Kelly’s first embarrassing public episode.
Kelly was previously seen sleeping with his mouth open in a social media video in the first quarter of the Super Bowl in February 2020 in the stands of Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
This viral video came on for eight months after Teneo sold a slight majority stake in CVC Capital Partners in a deal that valued Teneo at more than $ 700 million.
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In his own statement on Teneo’s website Kelly said, “On May 2nd, I made an unintentional, public, and embarrassing mistake for which I took full responsibility and apologized to those directly affected and to my colleagues and clients.”
“A campaign against our company’s reputation has followed and may continue in the coming days,” said Kelly. “However, I do not want these matters, regardless of the correctness of such matters, to continually distract the conduct of our company.”
“To protect Teneo’s employees and customers, and with the strong support of my family, I have decided to leave the company and step down as chairman and CEO,” said Kelly.
Teneo’s board of directors has named another co-founder of the company, Chief Operating Officer Paul Keary, to succeed Kelly as chief executive officer.
“We would like to thank Declan for his leadership and dedication over the past decade in building Teneo into the world’s leading consulting firm for CEOs,” the company said in a statement.
“Today, thanks to Declan’s leadership and the efforts of its excellent management team, Teneo serves the world’s leading companies with a large number of experienced consultants in a range of disciplines.”