Highlights of the story
- R.C. Hammond had been communications advisor to Tillerson
- His departure comes amid uncertainty about Tillerson's future in management
Hammond had been Tillerson's communications advisor and key spokesman for the secretary.
The reason for his departure remains unclear but his departure coincides with the swearing in of the new undersecretary of State for public diplomacy of the department, Irwin Steven Goldstein. An official tells CNN that the Tillerson office hopes to develop a more cohesive communication strategy and a more positive relationship with the press under Goldstein.
Hammond has so far refused to comment with CNN.
Before joining the State Department, Hammond served as a spokesman for the presidential campaign of former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, and then ran his own public relations firm.