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Susan Smith joins Alder as first COO

Alder is delighted to announce the appointment of Susan Smith to the newly-created role of chief operating officer.

Smith previously worked for integrated agency WE Communications, leading work on two of its largest clients; Microsoft and Capgemini. She has experience with other large global agencies, including as Weber Shandwick’s client lead for Unilever.

The new role comes after a number of new hires for the crisis specialist this year, including newspaper executive Ben Griffiths and ex-Simon Cowell spokesman Ben Todd.

As COO, Smith will lead Alder’s back office functions as well as providing support and counsel to Alder’s founder and director Tim Toulmin and the wider team of consultants.

Tim Toulmin, managing director of Alder, said: “After a year of substantial growth and recruitment, hiring someone of Susan’s calibre and experience will mean we can continue to provide unflappable counsel to our growing client base, while also expanding the firm’s offer to new sectors exposed to an increasingly-complex risk landscape.”

Susan Smith, chief operating officer at Alder, said: “As a woman in her fifties, I have been impressed by Alder’s commitment to work-life balance, which has enabled me to continue work in an industry I love when many people like me simply feel frozen out of agency life. With recent senior hires and new practice areas, I look forward to bringing my logistical and strategic expertise to build on Alder’s reputation for exceptional, time-sensitive advice.

Outside of her PR work, Susan is a sustainable fashion enthusiast. She has a degree in fashion and is the co-founder of make-it-yourself fashion brand Make Me Tonight.

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