The Estée Lauder Cos. has chosen Meridith Webster to be its first executive vice president, global communications and public affairs, effective May 17.
In a first for the company, Webster will be fulfilling the roles of two departing executives: Maria Cristina González Noguera, formerly head of global public affairs, now chief communications and public affairs officer of Popular Inc.; and Alexandra Trower, head of global communications, who announced her retirement last month.
Webster will report jointly to Fabrizio Freda, chief executive officer of the Estée Lauder Cos., and William P. Lauder, executive chairman of the Estée Lauder Cos. She also is joining the company’s executive leadership team. Both executives praised her prior experience — which includes three presidential administrations — in a statement.
“Meridith’s deep public and private sector experience, coupled with her core values and leadership style, make her uniquely suited to step into this role now. I am so proud of the incredible work of our global communications and public affairs teams and I know they will be in great hands under Meridith’s leadership as she joins our ELC family,” Lauder said.
Freda echoed Lauder’s sentiments, saying that, “Our world-class global communications and public affairs teams have consistently advanced ahead of the curve against the backdrop of an increasingly complex and rapidly changing global landscape. Meridith’s appointment will continue to enable and enhance our delivery of thoughtful, effective communications to our valued global stakeholders as she leads these talented teams to new heights.”
Webster joins Lauder from the Biden administration, where she was special assistant to the president, and chief of staff to the domestic policy council. During the Obama administration, Webster was senior adviser to two separate chiefs of staff, Rahm Emanuel and Pete Rouse. Prior to that, she held roles in both the Clinton administration and the U.S. State Department.
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