NEW YORK: Jack Bergen has resigned the presidency of the Council of
PR Firms to become SVP of corporate affairs and marketing at Siemens,
joining an elite band of industry pros by taking the top marcoms role at
a blue-chip corporation.
In his new role, Bergen will be responsible for developing and executing
the company's US integrated marketing, PR, and advertising strategy. He
will have full control of all related budgets for the corporation, which
employs 80,000 Americans and has revenues of $20 billion in this
Klaus Kleinfeld, CEO designate of Siemens USA, told PRWeek, "We are
looking at how we put together the best team in the world, and Jack's a
part of that. We have developed a two-tier business strategy called 'top
plus,' which focuses on improving the bottom line and, secondly, on
ensuring all our companies - we have spent $9 billion on US
acquisitions - act as one Siemens. Jack's experience in aligning
messages across an organization will be key to the second tier of that
"We also wanted an American with a great network of personal contacts,"
added Kleinfeld. "We don't want to spend the next 20 years working out
who we have to influence."
Bergen speaks German, though Kleinfeld said he didn't know that when he
singled him out as his first choice. He did, however, say it was
important to find someone who could have fun. "The chemistry was a big
differential," he said. Bergen will report directly to Kleinfeld.
Bergen himself said the appeal of the job was the chance to run the
whole marketing operation. He said he was also impressed by Kleinfeld's
approach, and the fact that PR could take the lead.
As for leaving the Council, Bergen said it was "the best job" he'd ever
had, and that he's never taken a call from anyone other than
However, he stressed that he'd always said he moves on after a few years
in a role: "It's what keeps me driven and excited."
Bergen said it was important that the council doesn't become too
intertwined with one person's name, and that if he had done his job
well, it will continue to flourish. But there is no doubt his will be
big shoes to fill.
New council chairman John Graham - CEO of Fleishman-Hillard - admitted
as much: "Everyone knows what a great job Jack has done in the past two
years. But we are considering a number of great candidates for the job,
and we have a board and committees full of the very best people in the
industry. Yes, we'll miss Jack, but in these cases you find someone as
good or even better. And we won't lose momentum."
Candidates lined up so far are believed to include five agency chief
executives, but Graham said he was listening to all ideas.