TUESDAY 4 SEP 2018 3:22 PM


Philip Morris appoints Amanda Pierce as new head of communications to help deliver on its smoke-free future strategy.

Philip Morris Limited, a subsidiary of Philip Morris International Inc., announced former Burson-Marsteller CEO and McDonald’s PR chief Amanda Pierce as its new head of communications. 

In the newly created post, Pierce will lead on driving the overall communications strategies for Philip Morris Ltd to support the company’s ambition to create a smoke-free future. Central to this is the company’s shift towards smoke free products like e-cigarettes and heated tobacco that will ultimately allow the business to stop selling cigarettes.

She will spearhead the company’s corporate public relations programme in the UK and Ireland, as well as overseeing external communications, stakeholder engagement, corporate social responsibility, campaigns and employee engagement.

Pierce joins Philip Morris International with a background in corporate communications and transformational change. During her 16-year tenure at McDonald’s, she played a key role in designing and overseeing the delivery of a change strategy that reversed declining sales within the business and began restoring its reputation in the face of external criticism towards the firm. This work saw McDonald’s trust scores rise by 10 points over a two-year period. As well as being the principal media spokesperson for McDonald’s UK, she was also responsible for internal communications for 58,000 employees.

In 2008, Pierce joined global communications agency Burson-Marsteller, going onto serve as its UK CEO, a role in which she advised some of the world’s leading companies including Shell, DeBeers, Kimberly-Clark, Danone, and GSK. 

A key achievement in this post included a collaboration with Harvard Business School in designing a customised CEO-driven training programme for the top 450 executives of pharma company Bayer to help them engage more effectively with critical stakeholders. She also acted as a senior communications strategist at the forefront of some of the biggest issues driven campaigns.

Pierce will take up her new London-based post on September 3 and will report directly to Philip Morris UK’s corporate affairs director Mark MacGregor. He says, “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.”

Pierce adds, “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. This 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.”