Delta promotes three to fill big gap left by retired chief

ATLANTA: Delta Air Lines has realigned its corporate communications staff in the wake of last month’s retirement of Bill Berry, a 34-year Delta veteran who was the company’s chief PR spokesman.

ATLANTA: Delta Air Lines has realigned its corporate communications staff in the wake of last month’s retirement of Bill Berry, a 34-year Delta veteran who was the company’s chief PR spokesman.

ATLANTA: Delta Air Lines has realigned its corporate communications

staff in the wake of last month’s retirement of Bill Berry, a 34-year

Delta veteran who was the company’s chief PR spokesman.



To fill the void, the airline has divided Berry’s duties among three of

its top PR executives.



Clay McConnell, a former general manager of internal and external

communications who has been with Delta for 11 years, has been promoted

to director of that department. He will report to SVP of corporate

communications Tom Solcum. Jackie Pate, a 21-year Delta veteran who had

been manager of news media relations, is now GM of news media relations

and will become the company’s chief PR spokesperson.



Dan Lewis, who joined Delta a year ago from German carrier Lufthansa,

has been promoted to the post of director of sales and marketing

communications.



He will be responsible for external product publicity, as well as

communicating with Delta’s sales and marketing employees.



McConnell, who will oversee the production of a daily newsletter and a

bi-weekly publication for employees, acknowledged that Berry’s absence

has been felt. ’You can’t easily replace 34 years of experience and the

relationships that are built,’ he said.



Berry had announced his retirement roughly a year ago, giving the

airline time to put a transition plan into effect. Lewis’ hiring was

part of that plan. ’The organization was put in place for a transition

year,’ he said.



While personnel changes have been effected, Delta has not altered its

agency relationships. Both McConnell and director of communications

Steven Forsyth denied industry rumors that Delta is on the prowl for a

new PR firm.



The company did, however, hire Atlanta’s Jackson Spalding this summer to

work on PR for its SkyMiles program and its relationship marketing

department. Delta has also worked with Ketchum and Powell Tate.



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