NEW YORK: Harris Diamond has ended speculation as to whether he will remain as CEO of Weber Shandwick by telling PRWeek he expects to continue, despite his new operational oversight responsibility at IPG.
Diamond added that among his early goals as the newly appointed head of most of IPG's PR holdings, are providing better global reach for Golin/Harris and reevaluating WS' presence in some markets.
Diamond acted on the first goal last week by merging Golin's London-based operations with the tech-focused Weber Group. The new shop will be called Golin/Harris Weber.
Diamond also said that persistent weakness in some foreign markets could lead him to consider reevaluating some of WS' presence in those areas.
"Asia has been weak, with SARS being another step back," said Diamond. "Latin America has also contracted, with economies like Argentina showing little sign of a turnaround."
Diamond also said that the several IPG operating units now under him - WS, Golin, The MWW Group, DeVries PR, and branding unit FutureBrand - will report into a new corporate operating group, preliminarily working under the name Constituent Management Group, which will replace Advanced Marketing Services. AMS was officially dissolved last week when IPG completed the sale of market data firm NFO.
Larry Weber, founder of The Weber Group and one of the architects of the current WS, had been chairman-CEO of AMS. It was revealed last week that he would assume a part-time consultant role at IPG, where he will advise WS' tech practice. (See the full story at prweek.com.)