GH regional revamp clears execs for worldwide push

CHICAGO: Looking ahead to an international expansion push, Golin/Harris is getting its US house in order.

The agency last week announced plans to reorganize its national structure, naming three regional directors for the firm's US offices.

Richard Wolff, currently a general manager in New York, is becoming managing director/east, a position that will oversee operations in Boston, Washington, Atlanta, and New York. Chicago general manager Keith Burton becomes managing director/central, overseeing Dallas, Houston, and Chicago. Fred Cook, Los Angeles general manager, is now overseeing San Francisco, Seattle, and LA as managing director/west.

Prior to the reorganization, all offices reported directly to either agency CEO Rich Jernstedt or president Dave Gilbert. 'These changes were very much driven by a desire to streamline reporting relationships,' Jernstedt explained.

With fewer direct responsibilities, Jernstedt and Gilbert will be able to oversee G/H's planned expansion in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Eventually, the company expects to name managing directors for each of those markets, all of whom will report to Jernstedt or Gilbert.

The new setup should also foster interoffice cooperation for clients looking for teams of PR specialists regardless of geographic location.

'This will be a way to encourage it, making people more aware of theresources available in other offices,' Jernstedt added. G/H had been contemplating this reorganization since launching aggressive international expansion plans. The agency delayed announcing the new structure to allow Burton, who joined the firm in February, to get up to speed on the workings of G/H's Chicago operation.

Recently, Jernstedt told PRWeek that G/H hoped to build its international business from the 10% of revenue it now represents to at least 20%. The firm expects to announce major overseas deals before the end of 1999, and Latin America is the most likely expansion target.

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