PR Happenings at Finn Partners, J Walter Thompson, and Linopinion Golin from Interpublic Group
Michael Heinley Joins Finn Partners as Health Group Deputy
Finn Partners’ new partner and deputy of their New York health division is Michael Heinley, who comes from WebMD most recently where he served their VP of corporate communications. Before his time at WebMD, he worked at Johnson & Johnson as the CEO of communications and manager of employee engagement. He also worked at Merck & Co. and at Hill & Knowlton.
In his new position, Heinley will coordinate global professional efforts across Finn’s 14 offices. He will report to Kristie Kuhl, the senior partner for their health practice.
Erin Johnson Returns to J. Walter Thompson
According to an internal email sent by Tamara Ingram, the new CEO of JWT, Erin Johnson returned to J. Walter Thompson on November 2nd. She’s been on paid leave since March when she filed a lawsuit against the company, then-chairman Gustavo Martinez, and parent company WPP for gender and racial discrimination as well as sexual harassment. Martinez resigned from JWT shortly after the suit was filed, though he continues to work on various projects with WPP.
Ingram stated in the email: “I want to let you know that Erin Johnson has decided to return to J. Walter Thompson from her leave of absence. She is rejoining us tomorrow, Wednesday, November 2, and will report directly to me. She will sit on the 4th floor, in our New York Office. Please join me in welcoming her back.” Though Johnson will return to work, the lawsuit is still in settlement discussions and the parties are waiting for the court’s permission to move forward to the next phase.
Tata Group and Cyrus Mistry’s Battle Continues Now with PR Representation
Interpublic Group’s LinOpinion Golin and Shapoorji Pallonji have been hired in the battle against Tata by their former chairman, Cyrus Mistry. Tata, on the other hand, has brought in Edelman-Rediffusion, Suhel Seth’s Counselage, and Avian Media. There is still speculation that Mistry may bring in another firm such as MSLGroup, since MSL has strong connections to Pallonji through another client.
Pallonji doesn’t bring a lot of crisis experience to the table, but Tata has faced a few big inquiries over the years, including issues of corporate governance and employing lobbyists. Edelman-Rediffusion, of course, brings all the expertise Edelman — the largest independent PR firm globally — has to back the process. For Mistry, LinOpinion Golin’s executive director Ameer Ismail is a PR veteran with a deep understanding of communications and long experience dealing with crises for clients.