SINGAPORE: Under the recent IPG grouping of Weber Shandwick, Golin/Harris International, and FutureBrand, changes to the organizational structures of the two PR arms have been unveiled in Asia-Pacific.
In a June 10 internal memo, WS CEO and head of the new IPG group Harris Diamond
earmarked a back-end streamlining of IT, human resources, and financial systems to pool resources. While he reinforced that the consultancies would remain "separate, fiercely independent, and often competitive," the move highlights regional cost-cutting and a bid
to shave excess costs in a volatile market.
The PR firms' offices in the region are undergoing a raft of financial rationalizations and personnel moves. The departure of Asia-Pacific copresident Emma Smith after five years for personal reasons has resulted in Andrew Pirie heading the region, excluding Japan.
Pirie likened his expanded role to that of former regional WS head Alison Clarke, who had handled Japan until last February's restructuring.
Golin/Harris Forrest Southeast Asia MD Jeff Shultz has taken on the unique added
mantle of WS Singapore MD.
Firming up a Greater China strategy that has lacked locally based senior management for the past year, ex-WS Taiwan head Lume Liao transfers to Shanghai as SVP of China and Shanghai GM, with Nikki Lin and Belinda Ma assuming joint leadership of the Taiwan office.
In Beijing, corporate practice head David Lim adopts the GM post, while in Hong Kong, deputy MD Simon Eldridge heads operations.
Downsizing has resulted in WS Singapore financial practice head Peter Poulos losing his job.