Wal-Mart's Bill Thorne to join NRF in lead comms role

WASHINGTON: The National Retail Federation has hired Bill Thorne as its SVP of communications beginning June 1. He will leave his current position as senior director of community affairs at Wal-Mart.

WASHINGTON: The National Retail Federation (NRF) has hired Bill Thorne as its SVP of communications beginning June 1. He will leave his current position as senior director of community affairs at Wal-Mart to join NRF.

Thorne will oversee industry and public affairs communications strategy, including NRF's Retail Means Jobs campaign. He replaces Tita Freeman who left the top communications role at the NRF in March to rejoin the Business Roundtable. Last month, the retail association also hired the US Chamber of Commerce's Katie Wilson as VP of communications.

“There's no question in my mind that Bill is an executive at the intersection of retail and government that will help us tell the industry's story in an even more compelling way,” Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO, said in a statement to PRWeek.

Shay also praised Thorne's record on creating successful campaigns.

Thorne helped devise and execute campaigns for Wal-Mart as it entered urban markets, including strategy and planning. He also launched Wal-Mart's corporate, public, and political advocacy network. Thorne has a background in advocacy work. He was a VP at public affairs shop DCI Group prior to joining Wal-Mart and spent four years as director of political and legislative grassroots at the American Medical Association.

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