NEW YORK: The Arthur W. Page Society has elected General Electric communications leader Gary Sheffer as its next chairman. He will replace IBM marcomms chief Jon Iwata in the role at the beginning of next year.
Sheffer, who serves as VP of corporate communications and public affairs at GE, has been a member of the Page Society since 2006, currently serving as a trustee and member of the executive committee. He was ranked No. 5 on the most recent edition of PRWeek's Power List, which lists the most influential executives in the PR and communications industry.
GE promoted Sheffer to VP of corporate communications and public affairs in late 2009, and he has served as head of comms since 2004. He joined the Fairfield, CT-based company a decade earlier.
“My goal is to continue the progress we've made under [past chairmen] Maril MacDonald, Bill Margaritis, and Jon Iwata in terms of thought leadership, globalization of Page, and other areas, but the details will be determined over the next three months,” Sheffer said. “Page is in a really good position and has had strong leadership, and my goal is to continue the progress we've made.”
Iwata was elected the Page Society's chair two years ago, and began his term at the beginning of 2012, succeeding former FedEx SVP of global communications and IR Bill Margaritis.
During Iwata's tenure, the Page Society released a framework for corporate communications executives that encourages them to build a fundamental corporate character, then behave and communicate with stakeholders in accordance with it. It also urges communications leaders to promote positive behavior and advocacy from consumers via social media.
This story was updated on August 28 to clarify that Sheffer has been head of communications at GE since 2004. It was also updated with comment from Sheffer.