NEWS: Gamsin goes in SB restructure

Sharon Gamsin, vice president corporate communications at SmithKline Beecham has been ousted in a shake-up of its PR operation.

Sharon Gamsin, vice president corporate communications at SmithKline

Beecham has been ousted in a shake-up of its PR operation.



Gamsin left the company at the end of last month although callers were

still being put through to her voice mail at SB this week.



A spokesman confirmed Gamsin’s post had been eliminated and the

corporate affairs departments in the UK and US combined. The

restructuring follows a review of corporate and administrative functions

begun by chief executive Jan Leschley last year.



The nine-strong UK corporate affairs team - including Lynne Smith,

director corporate information, Europe and international and Anne-Marie

Salmon, director of consumer healthcare communications - now reports

direct to Gamsin’s American counterpart Jeremy Heymsfeld. He, in turn,

reports to the UK-based director and senior vice president, corporate

affairs James Hill.



Meanwhile the UK-based head of internal communications Toby Maloney, has

relocated to SB’s head office in Philadelphia from where he will

continue to manage the two remaining UK internal communications staff -

now part of corporate affairs.



SB said the new structure was designed to provide ‘more consistent and

integrated communications to internal and external audiences’.



Gamsin told PR Week: ‘From my perspective, I’m certainly disappointed

because SB was a very exciting company to work for, and the

pharmaceutical industry is a fascinating business’. She said she was

looking at other job opportunities in the UK.



Gamsin joined SB in 1992 from the New York Stock Exchange, where she had

been vice president, media relations for five years. Under her direction

SB’s London PR operation expanded from a staff of two to seven with a

budget of around pounds 2 million a year.



Last week it emerged that SB financial director Hugh Cullum had hired

financial PR firm Brunswick to handle an unspecified media relations

project (PR Week, 2 February) despite calling off a formal pitch for the

business in December.



An earlier search for an agency to position Cullum as an authoritative

spokesman for the company in Leschly’s absence - begun by Gamsin - had

also been aborted.



The company declined to specify Brunswick’s brief or even confirm its

appointment.



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