Pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb has axed its UK PR
Director of government and public affairs Chris Davies - whose remit
covered PR and internal communications as well as government relations -
has been made redundant along with public affairs manager Fiona
Davies was appointed 18 months ago (PR Week, 24 November 1995) from his
post as head of government affairs at BAA. Stratford joined him from
Burson-Marsteller last November (PR Week, 4 Oct ober 1996).
The redundancies were announced on 30 May and took immediate effect.
Both Davies and Stratford are now believed to be considering a number of
offers of employment.
It is understood that jobs have been cut in a number of areas throughout
Bristol-Myers Squibb’s European operation - although nowhere else has
the axe fallen so decisively on PR as in the UK.
According to sources close to the company the cost-cutting measures were
made in a bid to meet aggressive financial targets for this year.
Speaking from the company’s Paris office, BMS’ European PR co-ordinator
- and Davies’ predecessor in the UK - Julie Cracknell told PR Week: ’We
are in the middle of re-evaluating and re-organising our public affairs
in Europe.’ She refused to make any further comment on the
There have been a number of changes at senior level in Bristol-Myers
Squibb in recent months. European president Aki Von Roy left three
months ago, to be replaced by Sam Hamad. In the UK Tony Hooper became
managing director in mid-March, the third since Linda Kelly left in
Bristol-Myers Squibb is the world’s fifth largest pharmaceutical
Its products and services include pharmaceuticals, OTC medicines,
toiletries and beauty products.
It recently handed its European PR for anti-cancer drugs to Complete
Pharma (PR Week, 23 May). Burson-Marsteller holds the accounts for
cardiovascular and cholesterol lowering products.