Former Department of Health comms chief Sian Jarvis is joining Asda to oversee its PR and lobbying.
Jarvis resigned from the DH in July this year, having been director-general for comms since 2004. As revealed on prweek.com/uk (20 October), Jarvis will join the supermarket chain as group director of comms and public affairs, reporting to recently promoted chief executive Andy Clarke.
Well-placed sources said Clarke had been keen to create the new post overseeing all aspects of the supermarket's comms.
Jarvis will already be familiar with the Asda comms team, as the firm has been a key funding partner in the DH's Change4Life anti-obesity drive, which is promoted by Freud Communications. Coincidentally, Asda also uses Freuds for corporate PR advice.
Meanwhile, The Times' health editor Sam Lister will replace Jarvis at the DH. As reported earlier this month, Lister joins later this year as director of comms.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley's comms operation was also boosted this week by the arrival of well-regarded special adviser Paul Stephenson. He has moved from the Department for Transport.