Burson COO buys 20% of Texas firm

AUSTIN, TX: The COO of Burson-Marsteller's European business has come home to Texas and bought a stake in Read-Poland Associates.

AUSTIN, TX: The COO of Burson-Marsteller's European business has come home to Texas and bought a stake in Read-Poland Associates.

AUSTIN, TX: The COO of Burson-Marsteller's European business has come home to Texas and bought a stake in Read-Poland Associates.

Jeff Hunt paid an undisclosed amount for a 20% share in the Austin PR and public affairs firm. He will serve as COO and take over the president's post from agency founder Julian Read, who will become chairman and CEO.

Read, 73, doesn't plan to retire but wanted to 'pave the way for a new era of leadership.'

A Houston native, 38-year-old Hunt went to work for Burson's New York office in 1984 after graduating from the University of Texas. He established offices in Seoul, South Korea, and Mexico City, and served as vice chairman of client services in New York before moving to London as European COO.

Hunt has brought back to Texas at least one international client.

Hunt described Read as a mentor with whom he has kept in contact since his college days. His plans for growing and revitalizing the 50-year-old agency include making Read-Poland a place 'where established and trusted meets cool and hip.'

Read said the firm will capitalize on Hunt's Texas roots and international PR background to explore expansion to Latin America. The firm already runs branches in Dallas, Houston and Washington, DC.

Read-Poland has had close ties with Burson in the past. When Burson pulled out of Texas in the late 1980s, Read-Poland bought the agency's Texas operations.





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