In-house corporate affairs news, June 2022

At the end of April 2022, Stephen Lotinga, CEO of The Publishers Association, was named as Sky’s new group Director of Public Affairs and policy. Stephen was Director of Communications to Nick Clegg during the latter’s time as deputy PM in the coalition government, having previously worked for the Liberal Democrats in policy, advisory and research roles.

This news came as David Wheeldon, who has worked at Sky for around 15 years, moves to a new government affairs role at YouTube. David joined Sky in 2007 as Director of Public Affairs and had been group Director of Policy and Public Affairs since 2015. Prior to Sky, he was Head of Public Affairs at the London Stock Exchange Group and worked at the agency Luther Pendragon.

With an exciting internal promotion at the FTSE 100 software giant Sage, it was announced in May that Amy Lawson would be their first Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, joining the executive leadership team. Amy joined Sage in 2015 as Head of Corporate Comms, previously led the Cabinet Office’s media operations and was Head of Communications for Channel 4 News. The news chimes with the recent trend of large corporations expanding and strengthening the role of the in-house corporate affairs or communications director.

Also in May came the news that Jaguar Land Rover has recruited former British Airways, Sainsbury’s and ITV comms chief Louise Evans as Director of External Corporate Communications, reporting to Chief of Staff Chris Thorp and accountable for leading and delivering global strategic comms.

In the world of entertainment, AT&T and Discovery recently completed a $43bn merger creating the mega-media conglomerate Warner Bros Discovery, who in May then formally named Nathaniel Brown as Chief Corporate Communications Officer of the newly merged company. Nathaniel will oversee global communications and media relations and serve as lead spokesperson. He previously held that post for Discovery, Inc. as the company’s Executive VP of Global Communications. He will report to David Leavy, Warner Bros. Discovery’s chief corporate affairs officer.

In early June, Boeing announced that Ed Dandridge, Senior Vice-President and Chief Communications Officer, has left the aerospace manufacturer after less than two years. Until his successor is appointed, comms will be led by Ann Schmidt, Vice-President, Corporate Communications.

Also in June, the business lending platform Funding Circle named Abigail Whittaker as its new Director of Communications. Abigail was previously Head of External Communications at Metro Bank. Prior to that she ran the chief executive’s office at TSB and was a management consultant at Deloitte.

Another promotion to shout out at Finastra, one of the largest fintech companies in the world, where Karen Quinn recently moved internally into the role of Senior Director, Brand and Corporate Communications, and simultaneously joined Finastra’s leadership team. Finastra offers a broad portfolio of end-to-end lending solutions for financial institutions of all sizes.

And from one well-known fintech to another, Adam Gagen recently joined the global fintech Revolut as their new Global Head of Government Affairs. This follows a successful five-year stint as VP EMEA Government Affairs at American Express.

Following seven years at Camelot as a Senior Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Catherine Nicholls joins Sony Music Entertainment as Head of Public Affairs UK. Before joining Camelot in 2014, Catherine was an Account Director at lobbying firm Tetra Strategy.

Birchwood Knight congratulates everyone on their career moves.  We are an independent corporate affairs executive search company that finds exceptional corporate affairs professionals to work in-house for organisations large and small across the public, private and voluntary sectors.

If you have moved into a new Corporate Affairs role then you may be interested to read our report “If Only I’d Known That Then”, and listen to our podcast “What does it take to be a great corporate affairs leader?’ (28 minute listen).

If you are considering a career move or hiring for your team, we’d love to hear from you. Click here to get in touch.

This is a ‘snapshot’ of career moves in the time frame and not intended to be a comprehensive list.

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28th June 2022

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