David Wilson (PR)

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David Wilson is the former chairman and managing director of PR and lobbying firm Bell Pottinger and a former head of communications for Pfizer, the world's biggest pharma company.[1]


Wilson trained as a journalist. His career in PR began at P&O Ferries in the build-up and subsequent opening of the Channel tunnel, where he held the role of PR Manager. He later became Head of News at British Airways and was Managing Editor of the BATV business TV channel for the airline’s 60,000 staff.

Wilson joined Bell Pottinger in 2000 to lead the agency's account with Emirates Airline, became public relations managing director in 2002 and subsequently chairman. In 2011 he assumed the role of group managing director as part of a new management board and in 2014 his role was expanded to include chairman.[2]

His biography on the Bell Pottinger website says he is recognised as an authority on corporate reputation and crisis management". [3][1] Wilson previously worked with the PR team helping Madeleine McCann's parents in the first weeks after her abduction.[4]

In May 2015 Wilson announced he would be stepping down from his role with Bell Pottinger, saying:

'It’s time for a change. I’ve been here 15 years and it’s time to do something new.'
'I am looking forward to a break and then will decide what I want to do longer term.
'I’m sure I’ll stay in communications, but in which facet, in what guise… I just want to take some time out to make that decision.'[2]


In July 2011 Wilson was appointed by Rebekah Brooks' lawyers to handle the press following her resignation as News International chief executive and her subsequent arrest over the phone-hacking scandal. [4]




Email: dwilson@bell-pottinger.co.uk


  1. 1.0 1.1 Our team, accessed 18 July 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 John Harrington Bell Pottinger Group MD David Wilson stands down PR Week, 24 May 2015, accessed 26 May 2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Key People, Bell Pottinger, accessed 18 July 2011
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sara Luker, Rebekah Brooks hires Bell Pottinger chairman David Wilson to handle media, prweek.com, 18 July 2011, 8:55am