LONDON: Neil McCrae, VP of global communications at AstraZeneca, is planning to join the UK's Royal Mail as deputy director of communications after nearly 20 years in the pharmaceutical sector.
McCrae will leave the pharmaceutical giant at the end of March to join the postal operator, which went public in the UK four months ago, on April 1.
He was recruited as a deputy to Royal Mail MD of strategy and communications Shane O'Riordain, whose responsibilities were expanded in January. O'Riordain took additional management of pricing, regulation, and government affairs from Sue Whalley, who was promoted to COO.
O'Riordain made the deputy role responsible for media relations, internal communications, public affairs, corporate responsibility, and community investment.
“[McCrae] brings a wealth of communications experience that he will draw upon in this busy and challenging role,” O'Riordain said. “Royal Mail is a major UK business, employing 150,000 people across the UK and operating in every community.”
McCrae spent six years at AstraZeneca in jobs including VP of corporate communications and head of global media relations.
He joined in 2008 from rival GlaxoSmithKline, where he was VP of UK corporate affairs and European communications. Before joining GSK predecessor SmithKline Beecham in 1996, he partially owned a communications agency called Design Publications.
“We wish [McCrae] all the best in his new role,” said Esra Erkal-Paler, head of global media relations at AstraZeneca.
Erkal-Paler said she was not in a position to say how the company is planning to replace McCrae or whether there had been a change in the role of interim EVP of human resources and corporate affairs Caroline Hempstead.
This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK.