Hilton books Katie Beirne Fallon as global head of corporate affairs

The former Obama aide will fill the top comms role at the hospitality giant amid its plans to split its business.

Fallon with President Barack Obama. (Image via the White House's Flickr account).
Fallon with President Barack Obama. (Image via the White House's Flickr account).

MCLEAN, VA: Hilton Worldwide has hired Katie Fallon as SVP and global head of corporate affairs.

Her global responsibilities include communications, government relations, and corporate responsibility, according to a statement from Hilton. She is also serving as a member of the company’s executive committee, reporting to CEO Christopher Nassetta.

Fallon is replacing former EVP of corporate affairs Bill Margaritis, who departed in April. At the time of his exit, Margaritis said he was transitioning into a full-time consulting role and would be on the payroll for the next six months.

Fallon is overseeing a team of about 60 staffers with four direct reports: Maxime Verstraete, VP of corporate responsibility and ADA compliance; Katrina Jones, VP of regional communications for EMEA, Asia-Pacific, and the Americas; Jonas Neihardt, SVP for government affairs; and Aaron Radelet, chief communications officer and SVP.

Fallon is joining the hotel giant after serving as director of legislative affairs and senior adviser to President Barack Obama. Starting in 2015, Fallon was tasked by the president with "improving his relations with Capitol Hill," as the primary liaison with Congress, according to The New York Times. She left the position at the end of January.

Previously, Fallon was the president’s deputy communications director, an aide for Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), and a staff director for the Democratic Policy and Communications Center.

Fallon wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Hilton hired Nigel Glennie last month as VP of external comms after a nine-year career at Cisco, culminating in the role of director of global corporate communications director.

Earlier this year, Hilton announced plans to divide its business into three entities, spinning off its timeshare unit, Hilton Grand Vacations, and creating a real-estate investment trust called Park Hotels & Resorts. The company expects the spinoff plans to be finalized in the first quarter of next year.

In October, Chinese conglomerate HNA Group bought a 25% stake in Hilton to the tune of $6.5 billion from Blackstone Group.

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