United Technologies names Tom Downie global employee, executive comms lead

The appointment follows a plan the conglomerate announced to hire 35,000 employees and invest up to $15 billion in the U.S.

FARMINGTON, CT: United Technologies Corporation has named Tom Downie VP of global employee and executive communication. 

Downie started in the position last month and is based in the company’s Farmington, Connecticut, office. He reports to United Technologies SVP and chief communications officer Kelli Parsons and works closely with chairman and CEO Greg Hayes, overseeing a team of eight staffers.

The role was created to integrate comms for employees and executives, Parsons said.

Last month, United Technologies announced it would hire 35,000 people and sink $15 billion in R&D and capital expenditures in the U.S. over the next five years. Parsons said the company needs a strong comms function to support that effort, which is why they created a role for Downie that combines executive and employee comms.

"It’s vital for leaders to communicate effectively with talent within their organization," Parsons said. "We want to be able to attract and retain the best talent in the market. How well we communicate with talent from the perspective of leadership hopefully has a substantive impact."

Downie was most recently VP of comms for Otis Elevator, a United Technologies subsidiary. That position is still vacant, but Parsons said she anticipates making a hire soon.

United Technologies hired Holly Gilthorpe, formerly the VP of comms and public affairs for medical devices at Johnson & Johnson, as innovation comms lead in September 2017, the same month Parsons joined the company. Gilthorpe works closely with United Technologies’ chief digital officer Vince Campisi and chief technology officer Paul Eremenko.

In January, United Technologies brought on Michele Quintaglie, the former global head of comms at Visa, to lead global external communication and marketing.

Gilthorpe and Quintaglie, both VP-level, report directly to Parsons.

United Technologies doesn’t have an AOR, Parsons said. It works with external agencies for support on specific projects.

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