Edelman's new world order sees buyouts, hires and departures

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

Relations Plus.

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.

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