Axe falls on PR jobs at Bristol-Myers Squibb

Pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb has axed its UK PR department.

Pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb has axed its UK PR

department.



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

Stratford.



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

redundancies.



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

April 1995.



Bristol-Myers Squibb is the world’s fifth largest pharmaceutical

company.



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.



Leader, p9.



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