DENVER—Joan Walker, who joined Qwest Communications in the summer of 2002 as the company struggled with financial difficulties and an accounting scandal, is leaving the company for “family reasons” and will return to Chicago, where she is taking up another senior communications position.
Walker, former head of corporate communications at Ameritech and Pharmacia, was one of the first executives appointed by chief executive Richard Notebaert—with whom she worked at Ameritech—after he took the helm of the company and began a turnaround effort.
She was responsible for public relations and corporate advertising at Qwest, and initiated the company’s “Spirit of Service” branding campaign, which included both internal and external communications designed to highlight the company’s customer service performance and its contributions to the community. She also chaired the Qwest Foundation.
In an e-mail to employees, Notebaert praised Walker for “unfailing commitment and unparalleled creativity.”
The company has named Robert Charlton, former vice president of global public affairs at Dow Chemical, as its new vice president of corporate communications.