Pfizer reorganizes its communications team

NEW YORK: Pfizer confirmed that it restructured its communications team, reducing the number of executives who report to Sally Susman and streamlining the communications functions to align more closely with the company's business units.

NEW YORK: Pfizer confirmed that it restructured its communications team, reducing the number of executives who report to Sally Susman and streamlining the communications functions to align more closely with the company's business units.

The reorganization lines up with new CEO Ian Read's decision to have the heads of Pfizer's business units report directly to him by removing the layer of management that had been in place under former CEO Jeffrey Kindler.

It was announced internally on January 18.

“The executive changes catapulted the decision-making and just made it that much clearer what the needs [of the business units] are going to be,” said Ray Kerins, VP of external affairs and worldwide communications at Pfizer.

He added that the announcement is the “first real global reorganization of communications” since Susman, EVP of policy, external affairs, and communications at Pfizer, was brought in at the end of 2007.

Seven executives now report to Susman. Prior to the reorganization, 10 people reported to her.

Susman's direct reports include Sandy Beaty, worldwide policy and public affairs; Ken Cole, state and federal government affairs; Ray Kerins, media, corporate communications, and colleague communications; MaryLou Ambrus, business units; Greg Simon, patient advocacy; and Caroline Roan, corporate reputation and responsibility.

Geeva Vargise, senior director of operations at Pfizer, also reports to Susman.

Beaty, Cole, Kerins, and Ambrus lead the communications' team core functions – public affairs and worldwide policy, federal and state government affairs, media relations and corporate and colleague communications, and business unit communications.

Ambrus, who was also promoted to SVP of communications, is responsible for Pfizer's business units, which include R&D and science, technology, and medicine communications.

In addition, Susman created a new leadership team made up of nearly 20 communications staffers, including her direct reports and Read's chief of staff, Jennifer Power. The three VPs who previously reported to Susman –AnnaMaria DeSalva, Liz Golden, and Kathryn Metcalfe – are part of the leadership team.

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