Credit Suisse taps ABB for top communications executive

ZURICH Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:49am EST

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ZURICH Feb 21 (Reuters) - Credit Suisse has hired a senior corporate communications executive from engineering group ABB to fill a post which will be important in helping shape the bank's image at a time of continued criticism of the sector.

German-born Clarissa Haller replaces the communications unit's co-head Andres Luther, who previously said he would join Zurich-based consultancy Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors as a partner.

As Chief Executive Brady Dougan's closest communications advisor, Haller must mould his and the bank's image abroad and in Switzerland, where retail shareholders have criticized high executive pay.

Other issues include a recent Swiss vote in favour of proposals to curtail immigration from the European Union, a move that unsettled banks which employ up to 25 percent of their staff from the EU.

Calvin Mitchell, co-head of the communications unit with Luther, will report to Haller, Credit Suisse said in a statement.

At ABB - which said it was looking internally and externally for a successor and would announce the outcome in due course - Haller was known for helping lead the company's increasing digital presence.

ABB has a reputation for a savvy marketing strategy making use of newer media channels such as Twitter and YouTube. (Reporting by Katharina Bart; Editing by David Holmes)

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