Healthcare: GSK ends corporate comms head search

GlaxoSmithKline has finally filled its top corporate comms role following a four-month search.

Joss Mathieson has been promoted from his role as director of corporate media relations.

He fills the position left open by vice president for UK corporate affairs and European comms Neil McCrae, who left last year to join AstraZeneca (PRWeek, 29 November).

Mathieson becomes director of corporate affairs for GSK's UK pharma business and will oversee a team of 11.

Mathieson has been at the drugs giant for three years. He previously worked as the internal comms chief at Barclays Bank's investment banking arm Barclays Capital (PRWeek, 22 November 2002).

He has also previously worked in a non-comms role as manager of group strategy and planning at retail banking parent company Barclays Bank.

Former comms chief McCrae left the company in December 2007 after 11 years to join rival pharma firm AstraZeneca in the newly created role of global head of media relations, reporting to vice president, group corporate comms Caroline Hempstead.

GSK was criticised in the press last month for allegedly hiding negative trial results on its Seroxat drug.

A recent PRWeek poll found that 86 per cent of the public think the reputation of the pharma industry has been damaged by GSK's delay in coming clean about the drug (PRWeek, 28 March).

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