CHICAGO: Golin/Harris International has revamped its top tier of management, with CEO Rich Jernstedt moving into the chairman's role.
Former chairman Al Golin will now take on the title of founder. The CEO role will be filled by Fred Cook, a 17-year veteran of the agency. Cook has been president of the firm since September.
"Fred has been on a trajectory to take on more responsibility for some time. It seemed like the time was right to shift," said Jernstedt, who had been CEO for 12 years, and is a 25-year veteran of the firm.
In recent years, he's overseen the international expansion of Golin as the agency sought to expand from a major US PR firm into one with an international PR presence. The reshuffle is "an opportunity for me to continue being involved and to have Al stay involved," Jernstedt explained.
Harris Diamond, who oversees the Constituency Management Group at Interpublic, said Golin is one of IPG's two major PR brands, and will remain so under Cook. "I think Golin/Harris will continue to expand," Diamond said.
Business this year for Golin has been what Cook termed "solid" in the US, weak in Asia because of SARS, and mixed in Europe. The agency has continued to trim staff this year in some offices and practice areas, Cook said.
Cook becomes only the third CEO in the history of Golin/Harris, an agency founded in 1956 by Golin. As CEO, Cook will report directly to Diamond.