Edelman EMEA president and CEO Robert Phillips leaves company

Robert Phillips, EMEA president and CEO of Edelman - the world's biggest PR agency - is leaving, in a shock move.

Robert Phillips: leaving Edelman
Robert Phillips: leaving Edelman
In a statement just issued, Edelman said: ‘We are deeply grateful to Robert for the strides he’s made since joining the Edelman family nine years ago. As UK CEO from 2007 to 2010, Robert recruited many of the industry’s most talented people to Edelman, and in doing so, transformed the business from a £16 million operation into PR Week’s "Agency of the Year" in 2009 and "Large Consultancy of the Year" in 2011, with revenue that will top £40 million this fiscal year.’

Phillips joined Edelman in 2004 when the US giant bought his agency Jackie Cooper PR. He was soon identified as a high-flyer by global boss Richard Edelman and then EMEA boss David Brain (now running Asia). Phillips was promoted to UK CEO in 2007 replacing Stuart Smith.

Promoted again to the EMEA brief in 2010, Philips opened Edelman in Turkey and Switzerland and bolstered operations in Russia.

Roberts is understood to be focusing on teaching in the short-term, given his recent appointment as visiting professor at Cass Business School, part of City University, London and writing his second book of ‘public engagement’.
 
EMEA chief operating officer Susan Eastoe will serve as ‘interim leader’ while the agency reviews the structure.
 
Edelman added: ‘I know Robert will remain very much a close friend of the broad Edelman family.’

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