MEMPHIS, TN: FedEx has hired a veteran of corporate PR departments and the political scene as its new VP of communications.
The post has been vacant for the past four years, since Bill Margaritis was promoted to corporate VP overseeing worldwide communications and IR.
"We just felt the expanding nature of our business portfolio - and the increasing challenges we are facing globally - required increased senior-level talent," Margaritis said.
Eric Jackson started work last week as VP of communications. He emerged as the candidate FedEx wanted after a 10-month search done by New York-based search firm Heyman Associates.
Jackson's combination of corporate experience and time in the political world swayed the decision, Margaritis said.
Jackson was previously director of corporate communications at Siemens, and was director of global media strategy for Andersen Consulting earlier in his career. He worked in the White House in 1992 as special assistant to the director of Presidential personnel. From 1990 to 1992, he was special assistant in the office of the administrator of the EPA.
Operating in 211 countries, FedEx is subject to a wide range of government regulations around the world, and needed someone with government experience, Margaritis explained.
Jackson will oversee employee communications, media and community relations, issues and crisis management, and executive communications. Three directors report to him.
FedEx works with Ketchum, and has no plans to change that relationship or to take on other agency help, said Margaritis.
The company has a good reputation, ranking eighth this year on the Harris Interactive survey.
Its operating income was $1.32 billion for the fiscal year ending in May, up 23% from $1.07 billion the prior year. It realized annual revenue of $20.6 billion, up 5% from $19.6 billion the previous year.