Andy Polansky: Power List 2014

CEO, Weber Shandwick

2014 rank: 12
2013 rank: 20

By Harris Diamond
Chairman and CEO of McCann Worldgroup; former CEO of Weber Shandwick and holding company Interpublic’s Constituency Management Group

I’ve had the privilege of working with Andy for more than two decades and he is one of the most dynamic agency leaders around. I’ve watched as he helped clients build their businesses and became a role model for everyone who works with him.

More than a year and a half after moving into the CEO role, his leadership has solidified Weber Shandwick as one of the industry’s pre-eminent firms. He commands respect from clients, employees, and competitors, and is a most innovative, influential, and admired leader.

Andy continues to capitalize on emerging trends and introduce new capabilities and practice areas. To help drive organic growth, he named Cathy Calhoun chief client officer earlier this year. To bolster Weber’s considerable digital and social media chops, he launched a content creation unit, Mediaco. And he pushed the company’s team of PhDs to the forefront, forming its Element Scientific Communications unit – a clear differentiator for the firm in healthcare.

Acquiring Sweden-based Prime, one of the industry’s leading creative and digital firms, was another key move this year that reflects Andy’s focus on delivering bold solutions to clients.

He has also used his influence to help transform the PR business overall. Not only does he actively promote diversity at Weber, but he also introduced diversity as a key initiative while chairing the Council of PR Firms from 2010-2012. He continues to be a strong voice on this topic as a PRSA Foundation board member.

Andy always finds time to mentor young professionals and actively promotes PR as a career, most recently as commencement speaker at The College of New Jersey’s communication studies department’s graduation ceremonies.

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