Isabel de Paoli | Influence 100
Charting the future of public relations

Isabel de Paoli

Head Of Group Communications 
Merck KGaA 


The chief communications officer may not be an endangered species in the English-speaking world, but there’s no question that the function is increasingly subordinated to the CMO. In Germany, however, something different is happening, as many communications execs expand their responsibilities to include corporate strategy.

Isabel De Paoli of Merck KGaA—the German chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences company—is a classic example. Having been named head of group communications in 2015, she was named to the newly-created role of chief strategy officer a year later, taking responsibility for the integration of strategies, innovation and digitalization across Merck.

De Paoli first joined Merck in 2006 as business development manager, chemicals, before promotion to head of strategic planning, oncology, in 2009. Earlier, she worked as a consultant with The Boston Consulting Group, and was with private equity firm Permira.