Railtrack's Clark joins SABMiller in top PR job

Brewing giant SABMiller has hired former Railtrack PR chief Sue Clark as its first director of corporate affairs.

As Clark's appointment was announced this week, she confirmed she is to review the corporate PR and public affairs functions at the world's second largest brewer.

In her new role Clark reports to CEO Graham Mackay and becomes a member of the firm's executive committee. She is based in the firm's corporate HQ in London.

Mackay said: 'Over the last year the group has grown in size and global reach. With Sue's appointment we will strengthen our range of corporate activity through the establishment of a co-ordinated corporate affairs function.'

Clark, a former corporate affairs boss at Scottish Power, left the Railtrack post last year (PRWeek, 1 February 2002) but remained at the group as a consultant until December to lead the campaign to gain compensation for shareholders.

At SABMiller, she is tasked with creating the firm's first corporate affairs function, which includes a review of group-wide corporate comms strategy and structure.

Clark said that the review is set to conclude within months and could result in a pitch for external agency support on the corporate and PA side.

However, she said another option could be to strengthen the role of the existing 12-strong in-house function, particularly regarding PA.

She said a pitch process for financial PR was not being discussed as the firm already has support in that area from Cubitt Consulting.

Clark added that on the corporate and PA side any agency would need a global reach, looking at audiences such as Washington and the institutions of the EU.

The creation of a corporate affairs function is seen as vital to the firm, which last year become the world's second largest brewer behind Anheuser-busch, following South African Breweries' (SAB) acquisition of Miller Brewing.

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