Burson and US CEO Burchett part ways; agency mum on successor

NEW YORK: Burson-Marsteller's US CEO Chet Burchett is leaving the agency to pursue another career path, the firm announced last week. The announcement was made in an internal memo that was distributed to employees worldwide. The memo described an amicable departure for the chief executive, who has been with the agency since 1998. Previous to being named US CEO, Burchett served in numerous roles, including CEO of the firm's Midwest region.

NEW YORK: Burson-Marsteller's US CEO Chet Burchett is leaving the agency to pursue another career path, the firm announced last week. The announcement was made in an internal memo that was distributed to employees worldwide. The memo described an amicable departure for the chief executive, who has been with the agency since 1998. Previous to being named US CEO, Burchett served in numerous roles, including CEO of the firm's Midwest region.

Burchett "has decided that it is time for a change," the memo read. "He will be stepping down from his responsibilities and intends to move into a different business that provides not only new opportunities professionally, but a chance to spend more time with his wife and two sons."

At press time, Burchett was unavailable for comment and Burson president and CEO Chris Komisarjevsky, who authored the memo, declined to answer questions about Burchett's departure.

One source within the agency said the move came as a surprise to some, especially since Burson has had some success in weathering the economic downturn that has stung the PR industry.

The memo made reference to the downturn. "Even though our revenue in the United States during this tough time has not grown, the entire US leadership team and each of you in our US company have done an outstanding job in ensuring gold-standard client work, building the reputation of our company and in ensuring a healthy margin," it read. According to the memo, Komisarjevsky will lead the US business through the transition. Burchett will leave the agency at the end of this month.

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