NEW YORK—Hill & Knowlton has named Chris Gidez as U.S. director of the firm’s risk management and crisis communications specialty group, based in New York. Gidez, a senior vice president in the firm’s corporate and financial practice, will oversee the US crisis communications network.
Dick Hyde, the renowned crisis expert who has led H&K’s U.S. crisis group for 20 years, will continue to advise the team and various clients as senior counselor.
“Hill & Knowlton has a heritage as the gold standard in crisis communications and issues management, due in large part to the world-class team of counselors across the firm,” said Judi Mackey, US corporate and financial practice director. “Chris is one of the top crisis experts in the communications industry, and has worked on both sides of the fence—corporate and agency—handling environmental issues, litigation, leadership crises, class action suits, government investigations, and financial issues.”
Gidez joined H&K in 2004 following 14 years with Chevron (formerly Texaco), where he managed the company’s corporate media relations team through its high-profile discrimination lawsuit in the mid 90s and later was named general manager of corporate communications, overseeing all external and internal communications, directing communications for the merger of Chevron and Texaco, and handling all the company’s litigation, crisis and reputation management.
“Since the watershed events of the Tylenol product tampering case and the ExxonValdez oil spill, a great deal has changed in the discipline of risk management and crisis communications,” says Gidez. “The complexities of a web-driven world and greater scrutiny of corporate governance and conduct have changed the landscape for communications managers and corporate leaders alike.”