Catalyst PR founder Bret Werner joins MWW

He will become the firm's first chief client officer, as well as an EVP at the East Rutherford, NJ-based agency.

NEW YORK: Catalyst PR founder Bret Werner has joined the executive team of MWWPR as an EVP and its first chief client officer.

He will be responsible for the client side of the business for all eight of the agency’s offices, as well as creating growth strategies and defining product offerings.

MWWPR president and chief executive Michael Kempner courted Werner for more than three months at the end of last year.

"When I met [Werner], my first instinct was this was someone I needed at my firm, someone I would love to have at MWW," he said, describing Werner as "smart, entrepreneurial, and relentlessly relevant."

Werner said the culture and timing were right.

"I was eager to start the third chapter [of my career]," he said, referring to earlier executive stints at Catalyst PR and Taylor.

IMG Worldwide acquired Catalyst PR in 2012, but Werner agreed to stay on for another three years during the transition. Catalyst SVP Bill Holtz also left the agency late last year.

Before founding Catalyst and leading the agency for 10 years, Werner was a managing partner at Taylor PR, where he worked for 15 years and was one of the firm’s youngest VPs. He was one of PRWeek’s 40 Under 40 honorees in 2011.

In 2010, Catalyst won Boutique PR Agency of the Year at the PRWeek Awards, followed by Small PR Agency of the Year in both 2012 and 2013.

In November, MWW promoted JP Schuerman to president of the firm’s Western region, a newly created role reporting to Kempner. He was previously EVP and GM of the Western region. MWW also bought a majority stake in Berk Communications in October.

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