NEW YORK: Edelman has appointed Joe Paluska, former VP of global communications and public policy at Better Place, as global chair of its technology practice, effective May 27.
Paluska will succeed 20-year Edelman veteran Pete Pedersen, who left the agency in February to become global CEO of Grayling. He will report to Alan VanderMolen, vice chair of DJE Holdings and president and CEO of global practices.
One of Paluska's initial objectives, he said, is to make sure that marquee clients, such as Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, and Microsoft, are happy. He added that he wants to “round out the spaces between those mega-accounts” and other existing relationships.
VanderMolen said that out of all of the candidates for the role, Paluska had “knowledge and understanding, as well as intellectual curiosity and practical application of how to apply technologies to our clients and to the firm to help us evolve.”
VanderMolen added that he wants Paluska to work on portfolio management and diversification, help Edelman expand to other sectors within the tech industry to pick up new accounts, and work with the agency to develop talent in key markets.
While Paluska will spend a lot of time in Silicon Valley, he will often travel to other regions because he doesn't believe the region has a “stranglehold on technology and innovation.”
“What I've seen in places as far and wide as Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Berlin, Amsterdam, London, and Paris is there's no single market that holds exclusivity on technology or very cool companies,” he explained.
Edelman's global technology practice has 489 staffers. The group, which is the agency's second-largest behind consumer marketing, represented 15% of the firm's global revenue in calendar year 2012.
Prior to joining Edelman, Paluska spent five years at Better Place, a company that develops infrastructures for electric cars. He helped the business create and implement its communications, public affairs, and stakeholder-engagement strategies.
Before Better Place, Paluska worked at Hill & Knowlton for five and a half years, most recently as director of its worldwide technology practice.