Cristal Downing
Cristal Downing

Cristal Downing, who was VP-communications & PA at Johnson & Johson’s medical devices division, will join Merck Aug. 16 as chief communications and PA officer, a new post.

Earlier at J&J, Downing was VP-global finance communications, where she helped develop and implement PA and strategies to support the CFO and CEO.

She also co-led the “Our Race to Health Equity” platform, which is J&J’s racial & social push.

During her more than 20-year career, Downing served as corporate communications director at ITT, marketing consultant at Wells Fargo, first VP-strategic planning at JPMorgan Chase and director at American Express Technologies.

Merck CEO Rob Davis called Downing “a transformational leader with a well-established track record.”

He said in a statement that Downing’s experience, integrity and leadership capabilities “will be invaluable as we drive productive conversations and strategic impact with a broad range of stakeholders, double down on our promising pipeline and work to accelerate delivery of our vital innovations to the world.”