Merck, Pfizer look outside industry for PR execs

Two top pharmas looked outside the industry for their top communications executives.

Merck named Adele Ambrose, formerly EVP, communications at AT&T Wireless, to head corporate communications, capping a reorganization of the department. Ambrose replaced Steve Kelmar, who left after learning that general counsel Bruce Kuhlik planned to split his job into separate PR and public affairs functions, the Star-Ledger reported. Also departing was VP, corporate communications Jessica Stoltenberg, a Kelmar hire credited with rebuilding the department after an exodus of employees last year, the paper said.

Meanwhile, Pfizer named Estee Lauder communications chief Sally Susman SVP worldwide communications and chief communications officer, reporting to chairman and CEO Jeff Kindler. She takes on responsibility for global communications and joins the executive leadership team. Before joining Estee Lauder, she worked in government and handled communications for American Express.

At least one big pharma looked in-house for a PR chief, as Wyeth named Wendy Kouba VP corporate communications.

Kouba reports to SVP, public affairs Marily Rhudy and assumes responsibility for global public relations and communications. Kouba joined Wyeth in 2006 and was previously VP, communications, technical operations and product supply. Before joining Wyeth, she held leadership positions at Johnson & Johnson, Pharmacia, JPMorgan Chase and Allied Signal. 

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