gsk global corporate PR chief Potter leaves

Pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline's global corporate PR chief Geoff

Potter is stepping down after 30 years with the company.



Potter is to leave at the end of the month, handing over the role of

senior vice-president, corporate communications and community

partnerships to current IR boss Jennie Younger.



Younger, who was unavailable for comment as PRWeek went to press, will

take on responsibility for a team of 60 staff based in the UK and US and

14 direct reports.



The role is the most senior corporate PR post, reporting directly to gsk

chief executive Dr Jean-Pierre Garnier, based in Philadelphia.



Younger leaves her role as senior vice-president of IR, to succeed

Potter, who has spent the past 23 years heading corporate communications

for the Glaxo group.



She will be replaced by current vice-president of IR Duncan Learmouth,

who will retain the same title.



Potter said Younger's immediate priorities would be to 'understand how

the function works, the breadth of its activities, get to know the

people and master the budget'.



It is unclear if a communications review will follow Younger's

appointment, but Potter said immediate changes are unlikely as the team

has only recently undergone a complete overhaul as a result of the

merger between Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham (SB) earlier this

year.



The PR shake-up saw Potter take control of the corporate communications

function. It also saw the departure of James Hill, the former SB

corporate affairs head (PRWeek, 2 March).



Potter said he would remain in communications and is currently

'considering his options', confirming both in-house and consultancy

roles are an option.



Younger joined Glaxo Wellcome in 1996 as director of IR, prior to which

she was IR head for British Gas. She also previously worked for ten

years as an equity analyst at investment banks Kleinwort Benson and

Barclays de Zoete Wedd.



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