HAMBURG: Internet service provider AOL has appointed Mathias Hajek to its top PR role in Germany. Hajek starts as communications director in January, replacing Marc-Sven Kopka, who will move to London to become vice-president, corporate communications, for AOL Europe (PRWeek, 28 November). Among other roles, Hajek has formerly worked in the PR division at comdirect bank.
NEW YORK: Edelman has hired Andrew Merrill, a former managing director at Abernathy MacGregor Group, as global managing director of its financial practice. He replaces Hollis Rafkin-Sax, who quit
after four years to join Financial Dynamics (PRWeek, 7 November).
MUNICH: Viagra-maker Pfizer has appointed wbpr Munich to handle media relations surrounding erectile dysfunction. The agency scooped the account following a pitch against ECC, Ahrens & Behrent, Hill & Knowlton and Fleishman-Hillard (Frankfurt). The latter agency, however, retains a
contract for the medical and scientific press.
KRONBERG: The Namibia Tourism Board has drafted in Kleber PR to handle press and PR work in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The Kronberg-based agency has handled PR for South African Tourism since 1999. The board hired BGB & Associates to handle its PR in the UK and Ireland two months ago (PRWeek, 10 October).
SAN FRANCISCO: Fleishman-Hillard has named Curt Kundred as West Coast president to oversee the San Francisco, LA, Portland, San Diego and Sacramento offices. Kundred is a senior partner and general manager of the San Francisco office and fills a role that has been vacant since Doug Michelman quit to join Visa USA a year ago (PRWeek, 13 December 2002).
SAO PAULO: The National
Association of Private Hospitals, a body that represents 28 private Brazilian hospitals, has appointed Imagem Corporativa to handle its PR. The three-year-old organisation has not formerly retained a PR agency. Imagem will handle media relations and internal comms, and will also provide media training services and produce website content.