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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Sep. 17, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 37 (download PDF version)

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Ray Jordan, a prominent pharmaceutical PR exec who leads global corporate communications and public affairs for Johnson & Johnson, is slated to exit for a top corporate affairs slot at biotech giant Amgen in early October.


Jordan, corporate VP of PA and corporate comms. at J&J, exits the company after nine years and a tumultuous recent few amid several high-profile recalls and the retirement of CEO William Weldon in April.

Jordan is set to join Amgen, based in Thousand Oaks, Calif., on Oct. 1 as senior VP, corporate affairs, a new position reporting to president and CEO Robert Bradway. He oversees internal and external communications, issues management and philanthropy.

David Polk, who was executive director of corporate communications at Amgen, joined Weber Shandwick's corporate practice in Chicago in January as an executive VP. Phyllis Piano stepped down as VP/corporate comms. in September 2011.

Prior to J&J, Jordan was VP/comms. and information at Pfizer and chaired the drug industry trade group PhRMA's public affairs unit. He started out as a journalist before moving to the healthcare sector with Bristol-Myers.

Bill Price, VP of media relations for J&J, told O'Dwyer’s the company has not named a replacement for Jordan. “His direct reports will report to Michael Sneed, VP of corporate affairs,” he said. “Other organizational decisions will be announced in the future.”

Amgen had Q2 revenue of $4.2B.


Edelman has picked up a corporate communications pact with CVS Caremark, following an RFP process.

The retail pharmacy services, benefits manager and healthcare giant, which had 2011 revenue of more than $107 billion, also works with Weber Shandwick, TBC and Abernathy MacGregor Group. It is the largest company operating solely in the U.S.

CVS CEO Larry Merlo said in June that it plans to expand its in-store medical services clinics in the next few years from about 600 to more than 1,000 as he sees pharmacies helping to control U.S. healthcare costs.

Carolyn Castel is VP of corporate communications based in Woonsocket, R.I. for CVS Caremark, which runs 7,300 retail pharmacies, in addition to health clinics, online/mail order operations and pharmacy benefit management.


Wyman's of Maine, which is the country's largest grower, processer and marketer of wild blueberry products, is looking for a shop to handle its $1M ad/PR budget.

The 138-year-old family-owned business sells its products in east coast and north/central U.S. markets. It also grows blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries on properties in Maine, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.

Wyman's wants a digitally savvy shop that is located within a two-to-three mile drive from its Topsfield, Mass. headquarters.

Food product experience, including packaged goods for the supermarket channel, is a must. The winning bidder will have expertise in health & wellness, sustainability, nutrition and corporate social responsibility.

The firm is expected to contribute to new product launches and handle online content.

David Swardlick (dswardlick@swardlick [dot] com) is handling the search.


Fianna Strategies, a start-up launched by Podesta Group veteran Molly McKew, has picked up a $320K 16-month assignment from the office of Georgia’s prime minister.

Georgia PM Vano Merabishvill with US Deputy Assistant Secretarty of State Thomas Melia In Tbillisi this Month.

She is to explain Georgia’s initiatives, programs and policies to relevant American audiences and to conduct outreach to reporters/scholars/think tanks.

McKew also will create content for Georgia websites and newsletters.

The Sept. 1 contract calls for a housing allowance due to the amount of “anticipated time on the ground in Georgia.” That tab is to be negotiated between the two parties.

McKew reports to Shota Utiashvili, senior advisor to the PM.

The National Security Council of Georgia is still a client of Podesta, kicking in a fee of $300K during the first six months of 2012.

While at Podesta, McKew handled Georgia, India, Egypt, Thailand and Hong Kong Trade & Development Council.

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