Tobacco giant Philip Morris has appointed Amanda Pierce to the newly created post of head of communications.
Pierce moves from communications consultancy Burson-Marsteller, where she was chief executive for more than four years. She will report directly to UK corporate affairs director Mark MacGregor.
Clients she advised during her tenure at Burson-Marsteller included Danone, Shell, Kimberly-Clark, De Beers and GSK.
Pierce has also worked as head of PR & internal communications for McDonald’s, where her LinkedIn page says she helped restore ‘a reputation that had become tarnished by a broad waterfront of external criticism’. She was also responsible for internal communications for 58,000 employees.
Her brief at Philip Morris is to drive communications strategies to support the company’s stated ambition to create a smoke-free future with products such as vapes and heated tobacco that will ultimately enable it to stop selling traditional cigarettes.
Pierce will spearhead the company’s corporate public relations programme in the UK and Ireland. She will also oversee external communications stakeholder engagement, corporate social responsibility, campaigns and employee engagement.
“I am honoured to be joining Philip Morris at this pivotal time. The smoke-free goals of Philip Morris are unlike anything any tobacco company has set out to do before and carries with it the challenge of changing mindsets to create what will be a huge impact across public health,” she said.
“This is one of the most important communications roles in the industry - I am hugely excited to be joining a team that has already achieved so much and to continue to help drive this transformation forward.”
MacGregor said: “I am delighted to have persuaded someone with Amanda’s pedigree to join PMI.
“This is an incredibly important moment in the transformation of our company. We are working to become a smoke-free business and I hope Amanda can help us to achieve that ambition as fast as possible.”