NEW YORK: Burson-Marsteller instituted top-line changes to management last week, including a new position to provide oversight for client service.
Patrick Ford, 54, previously chair of the company's global corporate/financial practice and New York market leader, is the new US CEO, succeeding Ken Rietz, who will retire after 15 years with the firm, most recently as vice chairman and US CEO.
Before joining Burson in 1989, Ford was VP for public affairs at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.
Burson also named Ame Wadler, 46, to the new post of chief strategic innovation and integration officer. Additionally, Pat Przybyski, 44, has been named worldwide CFO.
Wadler will continue as a global client leader and chair of Burson's global healthcare practice. She said she will look to carry her healthcare and brand marketing experience to the new practice.
Przybyski is currently at Wunderman New York, where he has been the CFO and COO for the past five years.
"We know the environment is shifting in terms of what clients need," said Wadler. "Part of my job will be ensuring Burson is developing new approaches and products." She said being part of a "robust parent organization," WPP, means she will be able to bring capabilities of sister companies to bear on projects.
Ford said that while the new position wasn't championed by clients, "our clients are looking for specific relationships and solutions. And they don't care so much which practice or office does it, but how it's done. What Ame does is to enrich our offerings by bringing more capacity to clients," he said.