Samsung hires FleishmanHillard's Jeffrey Pohlman for corporate reputation role

Pohlman joined the electronics giant more than five months after top North American corp comms and reputation executive Andrew Bowins departed.

Jeffrey Pohlman.
Jeffrey Pohlman.

RIDGEFIELD PARK, NJ: FleishmanHillard and CNBC veteran Jeffrey Pohlman has joined Samsung as VP of corporate reputation for Samsung Electronics North America.

Starting in the role this month, Pohlman is leading corporate communications and media relations, including crisis comms, risk management, corporate citizenship, and internal communications, according to his LinkedIn account.

Pohlman joined the company more than five months after Andrew Bowins, former North America corporate communications and reputation leader at Samsung, exited. Bowins joined KPMG as executive director for corporate reputation and digital engagement in January.

Gregory Lee, president and CEO of Samsung Electronics North America, confirmed Pohlman’s appointment on Wednesday.

"[Pohlman] brings a unique perspective on communications strategy to Samsung with a background in both investigative reporting and public relations," he said, via email. "[Pohlman] will play a critical role in shaping Samsung’s reputation in North America and will oversee corporate communications and media relations, including crisis communications and risk management, corporate citizenship, and internal communications."

After Bowins’ exit, Samsung named Brenna Eller interim communications leader for North America.

The South Korean conglomerate suffered months of reputational stress last year after several Galaxy Note 7 devices caught fire and exploded, leading the company to end production of its flagship mobile device.

The company’s reputation nosedived as a result, according to the Harris Poll. Samsung ranked seventh in the 2016 study of companies’ reputations, but dropped to 49th in this year’s edition. Despite that, Samsung said this month that it expects to report a 48% increase in operating profit for the first quarter, though it did not break out expectations by business segment, according to CNBC.

Pohlman was most recently an SVP at FleishmanHillard, joining the firm’s New York office and reputation management practice in January 2015.

"We’re very happy for [Pohlman] as he takes on a great new challenge," said J.J. Carter, FleishmanHillard COO and president for the Americas, via email. "[Pohlman] was a major contributor to FleishmanHillard, made friends and colleagues throughout our global network, and will be missed."

Previously, Pohlman was a senior producer at CNBC for 13 years, managing the investigative unit from 2010 to 2014. He has also worked at CNN as a producer and NBC as an associate producer. Pohlman won the 2015 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism, Fleishman said in a statement.

This story was updated on April 27 with quotes from Lee and to clarify the time since Bowins left Samsung.

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