Richard Edelman announces part-time return to Chicago office

Edelman said Chicago is the "soul of the company."

The Chicago office of the late Edelman founder Daniel Edelman
The Chicago office of the late Edelman founder Daniel Edelman

Edelman just took #FlashbackFriday up a notch: the city where the behemoth firm was established is getting back its chief exec – at least, for some of the time.

Richard Edelman, president and CEO of the eponymous firm named by his father, Daniel, wrote in his 6 a.m. blog on Friday that he’s "decided to take an apartment in Chicago, to split my time between New York City and the city of my birth."

The blog even included a classic Disney movie reference: "Have you ever felt like Simba in The Lion King? Well today I do," Edelman wrote.

Edelman already has a to-do list for his Chicago return, which includes attending a Cubs and Bears game and joining the University of Chicago Medical Center’s board.

Chicago is the "soul of the company, where my old man started it," he told PRWeek.

Edelman also said it felt like the right time for the part-time transition, and he’ll be on the lookout for new opportunities for the agency in Chicago.

The firm recently ended any work with clients that produce coal or deny climate change, according to a scoop from The Guardian on Tuesday.

For the 2014 calendar year, Edelman’s global revenue hit $812.3 million and $482.1 million domestically. In the 2014/15 financial year, the firm saw its revenue jump 8.5% organically, rising from $768.5 million to $833 million.

Golin snagged the firm’s Humana and Crayola accounts, but Edelman grew 15 of its top 20 accounts and recently added Cracker Barrel and Florida Citrus to its roster.

Edelman also recently finalized its purchase of Dubai-based Dabo & Co, leading to the launch of a new co-branded consultancy called Edelman Dabo that will include an experiential business unit.

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