SAN FRANCISCO: Grayling has hired former Waggener Edstrom and Edelman executive Alison Schwartz as the first MD of the agency’s San Francisco office.
Schwartz, who most recently served as VP of corporate communications at online real estate company Move for more than a year, is reporting to Grayling US CEO Peter Harris. She started in the role on Monday.
Schwartz is Grayling’s first San Francisco MD since the Huntsworth agency rebranded its subsidiary firm Atomic as Grayling at the start of the year. Grayling acquired Atomic in early 2011.
Atomic cofounder Andy Getsey previously ran Grayling’s San Francisco operation. Getsey and fellow Atomic cofounder James Hannon remain at Grayling as EVPs and co-chairs of the firm’s technology practice.
In addition to working with account teams on new business development, Schwartz said a major focus in the role is linking the Atomic and Grayling cultures closer together. There are 90 staffers in the San Francisco office.
Schwartz said she was attracted to the position at Grayling because she "saw a great opportunity to help Grayling build out its US footprint, and the San Francisco office is poised to be a big part of that growth."
Before her most recent stint at Move, Schwartz spent more than a year at Waggener Edstrom as SVP of consumer engagement for North America. She was also an SVP at Edelman for nearly three years.
In January, Grayling appointed Harris, a former SVP at MSLGroup, as US CEO.
Besides San Francisco, Grayling’s US offices include New York; Denver; Seattle; Silicon Valley, Orange County, and Los Angeles, California; Tallahassee, Florida; and Washington, DC.