Edelman's European boss David Brain to run operations in Asia Pacific

Edelman's top executive in the UK and Europe, David Brain, is moving to run the consultancy's operations in Asia-Pacific from the end of this year.

Relocating: David Brain
Relocating: David Brain

At the same time Edelman’s current chief in Asia-Pacific – Alan VanderMolen – will return to the agency’s global headquarters in Chicago, taking on the new title president and CEO, global practices and diversified insights businesses.

Brain will relocate to the Asia-Pacific region, where he previously spent six years in the 1990s, principally as head of corporate affairs for Visa International. The region is a fast-growing market for Edelman, with revenues of $40m, and new offices in Bangalore, Delhi and Tokyo. Edelman is one of the region’s top three PR networks.

‘Growth in Asia-Pacific currently far outstrips that of Europe. It is an exciting time to be there,’ Brain told PRWeek.

Richard Edelman, the consultancy’s global president and CEO, said he was still seeking Brain’s replacement to lead EMEA. UK boss Robert Phillips is likely to be the leading candidate, following three successful years running the UK operation. Edelman was judged PRWeek’s Consultancy of the Year in 2009.  

VanderMolen, who is currently based in Hong Kong, is from Ohio. He has quadrupled the size of Edelman’s Asia-Pacific operation in seven years, and will now lead the development of Edelman’s global practices (consumer, corporate, public affairs, crisis, technology, sustainability and employee engagement). He will also manage the firm’s consultancy businesses, including First & 42nd, reporting to Richard Edelman.

Brain has spent seven years at Edelman, doubling the size of its staff in EMEA to 700, and growing the business from $45.5m to $100m in revenues. He is a Manchester City supporter and personally handled PR for the club in the aftermath of the takeover by the new Abu Dhabi-based owners.

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