INTERNATONAL: Edelman cuts back senior Hong Kong staff

HONG KONG: Edelman Public Relations Worldwide has lost its two most

senior staff in Hong Kong, as it restructures in an attempt to stem

financial losses.



MD John Mullins is to leave the firm for personal reasons while

vice-president Hester Chan-Waters, whose agency was bought by Edelman

last year, is leaving as part of cost-cutting measures.



Five staff in the consumer practice are also going, but the agency has

made three fresh hires - two in its fledgling financial practice.



The agency will now focus on winning financial clients, and has already

added First Pacific and the First Eastern Investment Group to its

roster.



The moves come as Edelman international president Alison Canning seeks

to reverse the office's decline in fortunes.



Last year it reported a drop in fee income of 36 per cent, to just under

£1m.



Canning is looking to appoint an MD but, in the interim, the role will

be overseen by Mike Geczi, who joined the firm in March as Asia Pacific

financial practice president.



Mullins was offered a European post with Edelman, but said: 'After four

countries in seven years, I need a break.'



He will travel before possibly rejoining the firm later this year. The

agency also plans to keep close ties with Chan-Waters.



The move forms part of Canning's plans to double the size of the

international operation in three years' time - a task she set herself

when she joined the Edelman network in June (PRWeek, 22 June).



Canning sold her management consultancy firm First & 42nd to Edelman

when she took on the international president role.



In the position, she replaced 33-year Edelman veteran Michael Morley,

who stepped down to act as a senior counsellor to select Edelman

clients.



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