NEW YORK: Edelman has brought back Lisa Sepulveda, now Weber Shandwick's global consumer marketing president, to serve as president of global client relationship management.
Sepulveda previously worked at Edelman as EVP and GM of consumer brands in the New York office and MD of global consumer health in a career at the agency that spanned from 1987 to 2006. She will succeed Julianna Richter, who was promoted to Edelman's US COO, a newly created role at the firm, according to agency executives. Both roles are effective March 25.
“We realized that our competitive construct now is ad agency, digital, media buying, and PR — PR first, of course — but we want to be in the main game, and we're trying to structure ourselves for that eventuality,” said Richard Edelman, president and CEO of the firm.
Richter, who has worked at Edelman for 13 years, will report to Mark Hass, president and CEO of Edelman US. While the role of US COO is not new, the scope of work is different than when Nancy Ruscheinski held it from 2008 to 2011, said Richter. Ruscheinski was named CIO and global vice chair in June 2011.
Richter said her role will include working with regional GMs and getting more engaged with certain regions, such as the West Coast, Southeast, and Southwest.
“Our US business is now $400 million — it's the first PR business to ever achieve that size, and we needed a COO. [Richter] has done a magnificent job of leading the global client relationship management program over the last three years, and it was time for her to have a geographic assignment,” explained Edelman. He added that she will continue to work on large global clients in the US.
Weber named Sepulveda global consumer marketing practice president in July 2009. She reported to then-vice chair Gail Heimann and oversaw key client relationships, business development, and talent in the division. Weber promoted Heimann to president and chief strategy officer in late January.
Previously, Sepulveda served as CEO of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR for three years beginning in May 2006 after her 19-year stint at Edelman.
Sepulveda, who will report to Edelman, will oversee the agency's GCRM program, which consists of 17 clients, such as Microsoft, GE, eBay, and HP, and makes up more than 30% of the firm's global revenue.
Edelman has made a number of high-level people moves in recent weeks. Last week, it promoted Steve Rubel, EVP of global insights and strategy, to chief content strategist, a newly created role. Keith Lindenburg, Deloitte's former PR leader, joined Edelman as EVP and technology group head last month. The independent firm also named Jackie Cooper global chair of creative strategy in early February.
“[Sepulveda] has been a terrific colleague and will always be a good friend to us,” said Jennifer Norton, SVP of corporate communications at Weber. “We wish her continued success and happiness as she takes on her next challenge.”
This story was updated on March 4 with comment from Weber Shandwick.