NEW YORK: Edelman is planning to start its new financial year in
July "with a bang," according to president and CEO Richard Edelman,
making a slew of senior hires, acquiring two companies and saying
goodbye to a pair of long-standing senior staff members.
Joining the agency are British PR luminary Alison Canning, who is
charged with fleshing out Edelman's non-US operations, and Larry
Sennett, managing director of Ogilvy's global tech practice, who will
oversee Edelman's technology operations. Sennett had been helping to
merge Alexander Ogilvy with Ogilvy's own tech practice.
Sennett's surprise appointment sees the departure of Miller Bonner,
co-chair of Edelman's global tech practice and EVP, general manager of
the New York tech practice.
Canning replaces fellow Brit Michael Morley as president of
international operations. Morley, who served as deputy chairman of
Edelman PR worldwide, confirmed that his employment with the company had
been terminated. He is opening a firm in Texas called Alliant Public
Canning operates management consultancy First&42nd, which Edelman is
acquiring for an undisclosed amount. First&42nd has operations in the UK
and India, and its revenues are dollars 2.5 million.
Canning said her role will be to improve Edelman's name abroad, beefing
up corporate and financial operations. "There are pockets of excellence
and places where it is a bit patchy," she said. "My job is to fill the
holes." Canning will not, however, be responsible for PR21.
Canning is aiming to increase non-US revenues to around dollars 200
million annually in three years, up from this year's dollars 71 million.
This would mean that half of Edelman's income would be derived from
non-US operations, a figure that currently stands at one third.
As part of its effort to build non-US operations, Edelman has also
acquired Brazilian agency Biro de Assessoria de Imprensa (BASI), which
will be renamed Edelman/BASI. The purchase pushes Edelman's position in
that market up to number three.
In Asia, Edelman has re-organized staff, appointing Mitchell Presnick as
MD, Greater China. The former APCO MD replaces Timothy Heberlein, who
becomes MD, Edelman Taiwan.
Richard Edelman also confirmed that he is negotiating to acquire firms
in Japan and Holland.