LONDON: Robert Phillips, EMEA president and CEO of Edelman, is leaving the firm.
Just two weeks ago, Edelman assigned Phillips an expanded role at the agency, global chair for public engagement and future strategies, alongside his EMEA CEO duties.
The agency said in a statement: “We are deeply grateful to [Phillips] for the strides he's made since joining the Edelman family nine years ago. As UK CEO from 2007 to 2010, [he] recruited many of the industry's most talented people to Edelman, and in doing so, transformed the business from a [$25.66 million] operation into PRWeek's ‘Agency of the Year' in 2009 and ‘Large Consultancy of the Year' in 2011, with revenue that will top [$64.16 million] this fiscal year.”
Phillips joined Edelman in 2004 when the firm bought his agency, Jackie Cooper PR. He was soon identified as a high-flyer by global boss Richard Edelman and then EMEA boss David Brain (now running Asia). Phillips was promoted to UK CEO in 2007, replacing Stuart Smith.
Promoted again to the EMEA brief in 2010, Phillips opened Edelman in Turkey and Switzerland and bolstered operations in Russia.
Phillips is understood to be focusing on teaching in the short-term, given his recent appointment as visiting professor at Cass Business School, part of City University in London, and writing his second book of “public engagement.”
EMEA COO Susan Eastoe will serve as “interim leader” while the agency reviews the structure.
Edelman added: “I know [Phillips] will remain very much a close friend of the broad Edelman family.”
Earlier this week, Edelman named Jennifer Cohan chair of its global consumer practice, effective at the beginning of next year. She will be based in New York and report to Alan VanderMolen, vice chair of Daniel J. Edelman Holdings and president and CEO of global practices.
She will replace Christina Smedley, who left the agency in September to join PayPal as VP of global communications, a newly created role.
This article originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK, the sister publication of PRWeek at Haymarket Media.