Pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline's global corporate PR chief Geoff
Potter is stepping down after 30 years with the company.
Potter is to leave at the end of the month, handing over the role of
senior vice-president, corporate communications and community
partnerships to current IR boss Jennie Younger.
Younger, who was unavailable for comment as PRWeek went to press, will
take on responsibility for a team of 60 staff based in the UK and US and
14 direct reports.
The role is the most senior corporate PR post, reporting directly to gsk
chief executive Dr Jean-Pierre Garnier, based in Philadelphia.
Younger leaves her role as senior vice-president of IR, to succeed
Potter, who has spent the past 23 years heading corporate communications
for the Glaxo group.
She will be replaced by current vice-president of IR Duncan Learmouth,
who will retain the same title.
Potter said Younger's immediate priorities would be to 'understand how
the function works, the breadth of its activities, get to know the
people and master the budget'.
It is unclear if a communications review will follow Younger's
appointment, but Potter said immediate changes are unlikely as the team
has only recently undergone a complete overhaul as a result of the
merger between Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham (SB) earlier this
The PR shake-up saw Potter take control of the corporate communications
function. It also saw the departure of James Hill, the former SB
corporate affairs head (PRWeek, 2 March).
Potter said he would remain in communications and is currently
'considering his options', confirming both in-house and consultancy
roles are an option.
Younger joined Glaxo Wellcome in 1996 as director of IR, prior to which
she was IR head for British Gas. She also previously worked for ten
years as an equity analyst at investment banks Kleinwort Benson and
Barclays de Zoete Wedd.