Citizen Relations names Cohn & Wolfe's Jim Joseph as next CEO

Joseph will replace Daryl McCullough in the position this summer after exiting the WPP agency.

NEW YORK: Cohn & Wolfe’s Jim Joseph is set to replace Daryl McCullough as CEO of Citizen Relations this summer, the firm said on Wednesday.

McCullough will retain his position as chairman of the firm, alongside a new role as chairman of its parent company, Vision7 International PR Group.

"The focus is going to be on global expansion, growth, and integrated marketing," Joseph said of his new role. "[McCullough] set a great stage for that with the teams and the agency. It is poised to take off from here."

Joseph will join the agency in late summer and lead its global executive team from New York. He will report to Brett Marchand, chairman and CEO of Vision7 International and chief growth officer at BlueFocus International.

Joseph will join the firm as it prepares to grow via acquisition, with a focus on expanding internationally.

"As far as PR and earned media goes, we are working at a higher level on agencies and companies in the earned media space," Marchand said. "That could be in adjacent expert areas such as healthcare and tech, but we are looking seriously at experiential and influencer."

Joseph was hired after Marchand and McCullough led a search for several months.

"When he left [the meeting], I said, ‘You’re the right guy, but I have other people I am meeting with.’ I ended up being right," recalled Marchand.

Cohn & Wolfe named Joseph its worldwide president in January, continuing to report to the firm’s CEO, Donna Imperato. Previously, he was president for the Americas and chief integrated marketing officer. Joseph joined the WPP firm in 2012 from Lippe Taylor, where he served as president and partner for three years.

"This opportunity is a good one for Jim, and the timing is right," Imperato said, via email. "I will miss Jim's partnership, but I know that our friendship will continue."

Prior, he worked at Publicis Groupe for 12 years, most recently as MD of Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness. Joseph sold his own firm, CPPartners, to Publicis in 2002, and has also held in-house roles at Arm & Hammer and Johnson & Johnson.

McCullough has been an executive at Citizen, and predecessor firm PainePR, for 23 years. The firm has four regional hubs in EIMEA, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and North America and nine international full-service offices.

McCullough was a PR juror this year at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

BlueFocus International acquired a majority stake in in Vision7, the owner of Cossette and Citizen Relations in late 2014.

This story was updated on June 28 with quotes from Imperato and Joseph and additional information.

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