Eli Lilly has appointed British Heart Foundation communications
director Maxine Smith as its UK corporate affairs director, following
the promotion of Stephen Whitehead earlier this year.
She will take up her position in January 2000, reporting to Eli Lilly’s
general manager Derica Rice. Whitehead held the position for 18 months,
before taking up his current position as corporate affairs director for
It is not known if Smith will review the company’s agency
At the moment Eli Lilly’s agencies include Cohn and Wolfe and Edelman PR
Worldwide, and it recently appointed APCO to handle its public
Smith took up her position at the British Heart Foundation, the UK’s
biggest heart charity, in 1995. Prior to this, she worked for the
Cabinet Office, for the Government’s chief scientific adviser. Smith
also has a background in financial and corporate PR, working for
agencies such as Consolidated Communications and Shandwick.
Smith will join at a challenging time for Eli Lilly, whose best-known
product, the anti-depressant Prozac, is due to go off patent in the UK
next year. Sales of the drug have been falling recently, leading to a
drop in the company’s US share price. Prozac has also faced criticism in
the past from the Church of Scientology, and more recently there has
been speculation in the British media that the drug can cause extreme
side-effects in some patients.