AMEX charges Tobin with public affairs role.

American Express has drafted in its international government affairs head, Jim Tobin, to take charge of European public affairs.

American Express has drafted in its international government

affairs head, Jim Tobin, to take charge of European public affairs.



He replaces fellow American Sally Susman, who spent two-and-a-half years

as the European head before moving back to New York to become head of

international public affairs (PR Week, 30 May).



Tobin, currently based in the group’s New York headquarters, will arrive

in England to take up the role in mid-August.



In his new post he will head a European public affairs team of 14, and

will command a budget of up to pounds 2 million in media relations,

government affairs, internal communications, and sponsorship. Tobin will

report to Susman.



His remit covers three areas: consumer cards, travel, and merchant

services, each headed by a public affairs director.



The merchant services public affairs role was created earlier this year

when American Express poached BhS head of corporate communications Simon

Kleine. The expansion reflects the US credit card firm’s decision to

focus on building links with retailers.



Tobin will support American Express’ strategy to concentrate on around

25 key markets, while withdrawing from issuing cards directly to clients

in the remainder of the 52 countries it operates in.



The group is still searching for a replacement for Jane Drew, who was

public affairs director for consumer cards in Europe. She left to join

Fidelity Investments as head of UK media relations last month. An

internal appointment is likely, and Tobin will start the recruitment

process after he joins.



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