Kraft Jacob Suchard, Europe’s fourth largest food manufacturer, has
appointed the Diana memorial fund’s PR chief, Joanna Scott, to run its
corporate affairs for the UK and Ireland.
Scott will replace Richard Johnson next month, and will report directly
to the managing director. Johnson becomes corporate affairs director for
Europe. This means that Scott has quit the Diana fund after just eight
months in the job.
’It is not because I felt I couldn’t manage the media scrutiny of the
fund,’ Scott said. She denied that the role had been a ’poisoned
chalice’ and said she was headhunted by Kraft. ’It was an excellent
opportunity. It takes me into an area where I have had a lot of
experience anyway,’ she added.
Scott was group head of external affairs at United Biscuits for three
years, where she also ran the charity programme. She was also a director
of the Sugar Bureau and director of communications at the Food and Drink
Federation. As a vice-chairman of governors at St George’s School in
Maida Vale, London, she managed media enquiries after the stabbing of
headmaster Philip Lawrence.
At Kraft she will be responsible for the company’s response to public
policy, crisis management and community donations.
Scott said her number one priority at the Diana fund had been to develop
good media relations and said that will be a big part of her
replacement’s role too. She had turned round much of the initially
hostile media coverage about the pounds 110 million fund since her
appointment last June, she said.
About pounds 80 million has come from sales of Diana-related products,
such as Elton John’s Candle in the Wind single.
Implementation of the media strategy, approved by the fund’s trustees,
would be another key element of the task for the newcomer. The fund has
advertised for a replacement, on a salary of pounds 43,000.