GSK promotes science PR boss Dunn to V-P role

Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline has promoted its director of scientific comms to the role of comms V-P for its international operations.

Louise Dunn started in the role this week, and is a direct replacement for Louise Sibley who has quit.

Dunn has a brief to promote GSK in all territories outside Europe, the US and Japan. Her remit, which has responsibility for reputation management and internal comms, spans more than 100 countries, taking in the Middle East, Latin America, Canada, China and North Africa.

She takes up the role as GSK continues to face enormous scrutiny over its anti-depressant Seroxat (known as Paxil in the US).

GSK last month agreed to a settlement with New York attorney-general Eliot Spitzer over allegations that it suppressed data that Paxil increased harmful behaviour in children. GSK, denying wrongdoing and charges of fraud, agreed to pay around £1.4m and post all trial results publicly.

Promoting GSK’s policies in respect of boosting ‘access to medicines and community-based philanthropy’ will be a priority for Dunn. A recruitment search is already under way for her former role, which reports to US-based V-P research and development comms Rick Koenig.

Dunn reports to international president Russell Greig and SV-P corporate comms and community partnerships Jennie Younger.

In a switch unrelated to Dunn’s promotion, GSK director of investor relations Phil Thomson is to take the role of V-P UK corporate media relations, which will shortly be vacated by stalwart Martin Sutton.

Sutton resigned almost five months ago (PRWeek, 30 April). A recruitment process for Thomson’s IR role is ongoing.

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