MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ: Honeywell has hired Dan Harrison as the new VP of communications for its automation and control solutions group, an $8-billion-in-sales unit of the company.Harrison had been Weber Shandwick Worldwide's managing director in St.
Louis, where he also oversaw WSW's Houston office and served as national corporate and industrial practice group leader.
Honeywell created the automation and control solutions group out of several business lines after the GE merger was squelched by the EU last summer.
In his new communications role, Harrison will oversee public relations, employee communications, and crisis management for the recently-formed division.
Harrison's hiring is part of Honeywell's efforts to expand communications capabilities in the wake of GE's failed takeover, said Tom Buckmaster, Honeywell VP of corporate communications.
"During the GE merger, we kept much of our light under a bushel,
said Buckmaster. Now, "we have a lot of catching up to do. Having Dan as part of the team is part of that catching up."
Buckmaster's major PR challenge now is communicating the strengths of Honeywell as a stand-alone company to employees, investors, and customers.
Honeywell has 12 people in its corporate communications department, as well as several employees with communications responsibilities spread throughout its divisions. It uses a variety of PR agencies for project work, but currently has no agency of record - something Buckmaster doesn't expect to change.
Harrison, based at his group's headquarters in Minneapolis, will report to both Buckmaster and to the head of human resources.