ST. LOUIS: Fleishman-Hillard has hired Carlos Lareau, former COO of Burson-Marsteller, as its new SVP and senior partner responsible for building the agency's presence in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
Lareau's position, effective June 1, is newly created by Fleishman, which restructured its European operations in late 2004 by bringing more agencies into the fold of the brand and establishing a new management committee. Lareau will be based in Barcelona and reports to Dave Senay, Fleishman's regional president for EMEA.
"We want [European operations] to be a mirror image of what Fleishman has been able to provide in the US in terms of having very senior people on board," said John Saunders, Fleishman's regional director for continental Europe and Ireland. Saunders said Lareau's experience and connections in regions like Scandinavia, where Fleishman hopes to expand, will help the agency grow from its current 12 offices.
"We are not as big in Europe as we believe we can be," he said. "We have been gaining some considerable momentum over the past couple of years, but we believe that with [Lareau] on board, it's going to allow us to do that more rapidly."
Lareau spent 15 years at Burson before leaving in early 2006. Besides COO, he held several European positions, including CEO for continental Europe, MD for southern Europe, and CEO for Spain and Portugal. He also was chairman of the International Communications Consultancies Organization for two years.
In a statement, Fleishman CEO John Graham said expanding the its brand worldwide is "one of the firm's top priorities."