In-house corporate affairs news, September 2023

The children are back at school and the adults are back to work. Summer 2023 has been a huge few months for senior people moves, and we want to congratulate everyone on their new roles.

Let’s go back to the start of the summer, when Cory Reynolds joined Veolia UK, the environmental resource management company, as their new Corporate Affairs Director for UK and Northern Europe. Cory joins after over two years as the Director of Corporate Affairs at Biffa, the integrated waste management company.

In August, Laura Villaescusa left her role as Group Head of Editorial, Campaigns and Employee Communications at Holcim to join ABB as their Group Head of Content and Digital Communications. This move comes after 18 years of working for Holcim.

In September, TikTok gained a new Head of Policy Communications, Europe in James Lyons. Most recently James was the Director of Communications for NHS England and NHS Improvement. Before the NHS, James was the Deputy Political Editor for The Sunday Times.

Samana Haq has departed the Department for Transport as Director of Communications to join NHS England’s as their new Director for Public Accountability, Communications and Engagement.

In other government moves, it was announced in September that Nerissa Chesterfield will step up to the Director of Communications role at 10 Downing Street after joining as the Deputy Director of Communications and Press Secretary to the Prime Minister a year ago. This move comes after Amber De Botton announced she was stepping down from the role.

September also saw Luca Biondolillo announced that he will be joining Zurich Insurance as their Group Head of Corporate and Sustainability Communications. Luca joins Zurich Insurance from his previous role with MSC Cruises as their SVP and Chief Communications Officer of the passenger division.

After over twenty years at Accenture, Stacey Jones has joined the global electronics manufacturing company, Honeywell as their Chief Communications Officer.

Ross McKenzie has been promoted to the Group Director of Corporate Affairs at Drax Group after a five month stint of fulfilling the role in an interim capacity. This came after Clare Harbord left her executive role in order to take on more advisory work. Ross has spent over six years at Drax, with previous roles including EU Public Affairs Manager, Head of Public Affairs and Group Director of International Affairs.

Ed Petter announced he would be leaving BT Group after almost seven years as their Group Corporate Affairs Director. He will be joining consumer healthcare company, Haleon, as their Chief Corporate Affairs Officer.

Finally, Diageo’s communications chief, Dominic Redfearn, is moving to Shell to lead global communications as their new Executive Vice President, Strategic Communications. Brendan O’Grady will be stepping into the Global Brand and Communications role at Diageo, after just over six years as the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer at The Guardian Media Group.

Birchwood Knight helps CEOs hire their Chief Communications Officers and CCOs to build successful teams. 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.

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27th September 2023

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