Virgin Atlantic’s director of corporate communications, Greg Dawson, is leaving to become European PR director at Samsung.
Dawson, who has served as the PR boss for Sir Richard Branson’s airline for two-and-a-half years, will head up European PR for Samsung, reporting to Stephen Taylor, VP brand for Europe.
Dawson will join Samsung from 1 January 2013, remaining at Virgin Atlantic until the end of this year. He will help CEO Steve Ridgway, who also recently resigned from the airline, to find a replacement corporate comms chief.
‘This was simply a great opportunity,’ Dawson told PRWeek. ‘Samsung is the world’s ninth biggest company and wants to double its turnover in Europe. My role will be to develop a world class firm’s relationship with the European public and help tell a phenomenal corporate story.’
Dawson’s remit covers 16 European markets and includes external relations, internal comms and public affairs.
Samsung Electronics Europe said: ‘We are delighted that someone of Greg’s experience and calibre is joining the business at this exciting time. His appointment reflects our commitment to the continued growth of the brand.’
Prior to Virgin Atlantic, Dawson ran PR at Travelodge, where he was renowned for creating high velocity news stories, creating a huge quantity of brand coverage. His career has also seen stints at RBS Insurance and Sainsbury’s.
Virgin Atlantic CEO Steve Ridgway announced his own departure earlier this month, after 23 years at Virgin. However he agreed with chairman Branson that he would stay on until his successor is found. His departure and Dawson’s are said to be unrelated.
The airline, which still has a strong and popular brand among fliers, is grappling with a sluggish British economy, tough competition and high fuel prices.