City & Corporate: Kuwaiti PM recruits ex-Coca Cola chief

Former Coca-Cola GB comms chief Tim Wilkinson has taken a key advisory post in the Middle East, as his previous employer shakes up its European comms division.

Wilkinson, who spent 15 years at Coca-Cola, has been named director of comms to the Prime Minister of Kuwait, Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah.

He heads the comms unit within a wider advisory team providing strategic and day-to-day support to the PM and his government.

Last week the country hosted a plethora of international figures to mark a combined 50/20 anniversary highlighting 50 years since gaining independence and 20 years since liberation from the Iraqi invasion. Current and former world leaders, including David Cameron, attended the celebrations. Cameron made a speech about political and economic reform in the region.

Kuwait is one of the region's key economic powers and one of Wilkinson's roles will be international media relations and communicating the economic and political changes in the country.

Kuwait has not been excluded from the wave of political protests that have hit the region, although protests were postponed during the recent celebrations.

Wilkinson worked in several of Coca-Cola's key markets, including Africa, the Middle East and Asia, before taking up a UK role in 2004. He left the firm in early 2010.

Meanwhile, Charlotte Oades, Coca-Cola Europe Group's top comms professional, is moving to a non-PR role within the firm and is to be replaced by Jane Lawrie.

Oades has been appointed global director, women's economic empowerment, and will lead the firm's global initiative to empower five million women entrepreneurs.

Lawrie, who has led both the internal and external comms functions for the Europe Group since 2007, will succeed Oades as director of public affairs and comms, Europe Group.

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