NEW YORK—Herb Schmertz, former vice president of public affairs for Mobil Oil Corporation, has joined strategic financial communications firm Abernathy MacGregor as a counselor.
Schmertz is considered one of the pioneers of a more proactive style of corporate public relations. During his 20 years of experience at Mobil Oil, he created the company’s program of weekly messages on the op-ed page of The New York Times—deliberately provocative, controversial and intellectually stimulating. He also created and was the first sponsor of Masterpiece Theatre, the award winning PBS dramatic series, which Mobil underwrote for over twenty years.
According to Jim Abernathy, chairman and chief executive officer of Abernathy MacGregor, “Herb is a legend and a friend, and we are honored to have him on the team. Herb’s unparalleled experience managing a wide range of public policy issues and financial public relations situations is extremely relevant to our work and we are confident that he will be a valuable asset to the firm.”
Commenting on his decision to join Abernathy MacGregor, Schmertz says, “Over the last two decades I have grown to admire the Abernathy MacGregor Group for the quality of its work, its clients and its professionals.”
In addition to Schmertz, Abernathy MacGregor’s counselors include Jay Kriegel, currently executive director of NYC2012; senior advisor John Kehoe, an investor relations specialist; Rivian Bell, a communications specialist for companies in reorganization or crisis; and Alan Maltun, a specialist in editorial services and media relations who spent more than a decade as a news reporter for the Los Angeles Times and other publications, including Newsweek magazine.