Axios Communicators

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March 03, 2023

Happy Employee Appreciation Day! Here's your update on who is where.

ūüďá Today's special Monthly Moves newsletter is 1,522 words, a 5.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Andrew Blotky to Johnson & Johnson

Photo illustration of vice president of communications for Johnson & Johnson Andrew Blotky next to the company logo and various circles

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Courtesy of Andrew Blotky

Andrew Blotky has joined Johnson & Johnson (J&J) as vice president of communications, overseeing global internal and human resources communications for its roughly 156,000 employees.

Why it matters: This is a newly created role and highlights the value large corporations are placing on internal communications and the employee experience.

Flashback: Blotky worked in comms on Capitol Hill, jumpstarted Meta's internal communication function and later founded Azure Leadership Group, a strategic communications firm that specialized in helping companies establish effective communications and culture at scale.

What he's saying: "I'm focused on making sure our leaders view internal communications more as a conversation with employees, rather than a monologue," Blotky told Axios.

What he's watching: "I've noticed that more companies and leaders are prioritizing communications ‚ÄĒ particularly employee communications ‚ÄĒ than ever before. ... But there are power dynamics at play between leaders and employees, and I think the ones who will be most successful are those who prioritize direct, human communication."

2. ūüíľ Corporate moves

  • Papa Johns appointed¬†Madeline Chadwick¬†to chief corporate affairs officer.
  • Global sports and entertainment company Endeavor promoted Maura McGreevy to chief communications officer.
  • Paramount TV Studios¬†promoted¬†Dominic Pagone¬†to senior vice president, communications.¬†
  • Medtronic chief communications officer Torod Neptune's role has expanded to oversee HR.
  • Shannon Austin was promoted to chief communications officer of Quona Capital.
  • Mesmerise appointed Leslie Marshall to chief marketing officer.
  • Missy Miller was promoted to chief marketing officer of Waystar.
  • Morning Brew and Fortune alum Andrew Nusca joins Activision Blizzard as editor-in-chief.
  • Diandra Binney joins Xero as head of U.S. communications.¬†
  • LT Taylor¬†joins Rainfall Ventures as head of communications and platform.
  • Katherine Lugar joins Hilton as executive vice president, corporate affairs.
  • Amelia Chass√© Alcivar¬†is executive vice president, corporate affairs at Hilco Redevelopment Partners.
  • Cristin Culver is head of communications at Divvy Homes.
  • Liz Clinkenbeard¬†is vice president, communications at¬†Agility Robotics.
  • RobinHood alum Jack Randall joins OpenStore as head of communications.
  • Casey Gunkel joins Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners as head of communications.
  • ReliaQuest appoints Kim Hill as chief of staff and head of corporate communications.
  • Edelman alum Alexandra Schepsis joins OTC Markets Group as vice president, communications.
  • GoFundMe hired Amanda Brown Lierman as senior director, policy and engagement.
  • Twitter alum Liz Kelley joins Meta as director, executive communications, office of the CEO.
  • Twitter alum Katie Rosborough joins The Walt Disney Company as director, policy communications.
  • Twitter alum Brenden Lee joins Block to lead financial and M&A communications.
  • Washington Post alums¬†Shani George¬†and Molly Gannon joined CNN's public relations team.
  • Mitch Goulding¬†was¬†promoted to director, communications at¬†Cart.com.
  • Meta alum Erin Weibel joins Handshake as communications director.
  • Nicole Flotteron is director, external communications at Shopify.
  • Jessica Kowal is director, media relations for Boeing.
  • Rachel Livingston joins Public as director, communications.
  • Twitter alum Jasmine Basi joins Airbnb as senior communications manager.
  • Twitter alum Celeste Carswell joins Mercury as communications manager.
  • Calm named Nicole Chismar as senior consumer communications manager.
  • Lisa Vedernikova Khanna is chief¬†of staff to Instacart's chief corporate affairs officer.
  • Michael Tadeo¬†joins TC Energy as a senior media relations adviser.

3. ūüď£ Firm moves

4. ūüáļūüáł Government moves

Biden administration:

  • Bully Pulpit Interactive's Ben LaBolt has been named White House communications director.
  • Former Columbia, South Carolina, mayor Steven Benjamin is director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.
  • Yemisi Egbewole is chief of staff for White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

U.S. Senate:

  • Joanna Rodriguez is communications director for¬†Sen. Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.); Macarena Martinez¬†is communications adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz‚Äôs (R-Texas); Sen. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) named¬†Mike Reynard¬†as communications director and¬†Curtis Kalin as deputy communications director; Erica Handloff¬†is communications director for Senate Budget Committee Chair Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.);¬†Natasha Dabrowski¬†is communications director for Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.);¬†Matt Krack¬†is state press secretary for Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.);¬†Piper Stephens¬†is press assistant for Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.).

U.S. House of Representatives:

  • Kye Laughter¬†is press secretary for Rep. Chuck Edwards (R-N.C.); Carrie Cole¬†is communications director for Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.); Jill Dickerson is deputy communications director for the House Budget Committee; Emma Settle¬†is communications director for Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.); Harry Fones is communications director for Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.); Alice Su Jin Nam is communications director for Rep. Marilyn Strickland (D-Wash.); Vidhya Jeyadev is press secretary for House Ways and Means Committee; and Peter Opitz is press assistant for Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.).

Of note:

  • Brunswick alum Christina Pryor is now chief of the office of public affairs at the Drug Enforcement Administration.
  • Garrison Douglas is press secretary for Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.
  • Elizabeth Kennedy Trudeau¬†is senior adviser and director of external affairs at the U.S. Agency for Global Media.
  • Lauren Smith is communications and public relations director for the District of Columbia Retirement Board.

5. ūüēä Nonprofit moves

  • Vibrant Emotional Health¬†named Lesleigh Irish-Underwood as its first chief external affairs officer and head of brand.
  • The Trevor Project promoted Kevin Wong as senior vice president, communications, marketing and content.
  • Jocelyn Kelly¬†is vice president, communications at Consumer Brands Association.
  • Alyssa Harker¬†is director, communications at¬†Metrodora Institute, which was founded by Instacart CEO Fidji Simo. ¬†
  • Abby Strickler¬†is director, communications at¬†Calvary Women‚Äôs Services.

6. ūüóě Media moves

Associated Press: Chad Day is chief elections analyst.

The Ankler: Elaine Low is a staff reporter covering the business of Hollywood.

Axios: Chelsea Brasted covers New Orleans for Axios Local; Arika Herron will cover Indianapolis for Axios Local; Maria Cristina Curi will write the new tech policy newsletter; Mariah Ackary is a local writer for branded content; and Chloe Reynolds joined the audience team.

Bloomberg: Sydney Maki is global markets editor; Shelly Banjo is regional managing editor; Rachel Metz is an AI reporter; Carmen Reinicke will join the equities team; and Parker Purifoy covers the National Labor Relations Board for Bloomberg Law.

Crain's New York: Amanda D'Ambrosio will cover health care.

CNN: Krystal Hur is a markets reporter.

Financial Times: Madhumita Murgia is the first Artificial Intelligence editor.

Fox News: CB Cotton is a New York-based correspondent.

The Guardian: Michael Sainato joins as a labor reporter.

The Information: Anissa Gardizy will cover cloud providers.

The Los Angeles Times: Maira Garcia is television editor.

POLITICO: Christopher Cadelago is now California bureau chief; Daniella Diaz is a congressional reporter; Brendan Bordelon will cover tech; Dustin Racioppi is a New Jersey editor; Olivia Olander will cover employment and immigration.

The Military Times: Kim Dozier is senior managing editor for breaking news.

The National Journal: Ledyard King is managing editor.

News Nation: Jorge Ventura is a national correspondent based in Atlanta and Johanna Maska is a contributor.

The New York Times: Eli Murray is graphics editor; Doug Schorzman is Asia editor; A.O. Scott moves to the book review section; Liz Day is executive producer of "The New York Times Presents"; Daniel Victor is a senior live editor; Ron DePasquale is deputy editor, breaking news; John Carreyrou joins the business investigations team.

Punchbowl News: Mica Soellner will cover Congress.

Semafor: Jay Solomon is global security editor.

The Skimm: Margaret Wheeler Johnson is executive editor.

USA Today: Kim Archer is regional news editor and Hannah Yasharoff is a wellness and celebrity culture reporter.

Vanity Fair: Tom Kludt is a contributing editor.

Tech Crunch: Morgan Sung is a senior writer.

The Wall Street Journal: Sarah Rabil is a standards editor.

The Washington Post: Chris Dehghanpoor joins the rapid response investigations team; Justin Bank is managing editor of audience and visual journalism; Justin Jouvenal joins the local desk to cover breaking news; Hannah Natanson will cover education; Karina Elwood will cover Virginia schools and Nicole Asbury will cover Maryland schools.

That's a wrap on this special edition of Axios Communicators, which should land in your inbox on the first Friday of every month.

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