Ameritech vet in Monsanto move

CHICAGO: Monsanto has tapped Joan Walker, a refugee from Ameritech’s recent PR purge (see story, page 1), to head its communications charge.

CHICAGO: Monsanto has tapped Joan Walker, a refugee from Ameritech’s recent PR purge (see story, page 1), to head its communications charge.

CHICAGO: Monsanto has tapped Joan Walker, a refugee from

Ameritech’s recent PR purge (see story, page 1), to head its

communications charge.



Walker, formerly Ameritech’s SVP of communications, joins the

agricultural and pharmaceutical giant as SVP of corporate affairs, a new

position.



The appointment is a major one, as Walker will be responsible for

guiding company PR policy on such potentially explosive issues as

genetically modified foods.



Monsanto had been searching for someone to direct its communications

efforts since earlier in the year, when its former head of PR left the

company. Walker, whose Monsanto tenure began last Monday, will divide

her time between the company’s offices in Chicago and St. Louis.



While vice chairman and chief administrative officer Richard De Schutter

wouldn’t say whether the company courted Walker during her Ameritech

tenure, another source said she had been actively recruited. Her hiring,

the source believes, could demonstrate a commitment to improving the

less-than-stellar media relations reputation with which the company is

saddled.



Walker will oversee all public affairs for Monsanto, including its

agricultural and GD Searle pharmaceutical businesses, as well as

internal communications.



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