NEW YORK: Burson-Marsteller polling firm Penn Schoen Berland has appointed Jay Leveton interim CEO. He will continue to serve as worldwide EVP at Burson.
Leveton, who was named to Burson's global leadership team at the end of last month, will assume his new position immediately and report to Donald Baer, chairman of PSB and worldwide president and CEO of Burson.
Leveton said his main objective is to “continue to grow the business and continue to expand the operation and reach of the firm.”
“PSB is second to none in terms of bringing the political mindset of research to the corporate boardroom, and we're going to continue to drive that forward,” he added.
Despite the departure of PSB's founding partners, Baer said the agency has no “immediate plans to change the name.”
“The brand is still strong in the market and it's what we're known as and for. For the time being, we're very happy with that,” Baer explained.
Baer added that Leveton's appointment as interim CEO is part of a transition for the firm.
“We're engaged in a transition process as we move to the next stage of leadership and opportunity at PSB,” he said. “[Leveton] is the exact right person for the next stage, and as we move forward, we'll be making additional decisions on how we're going to move PSB forward.”
Since joining the WPP Group agency in 1997, Leveton has held various roles for PSB, including serving as MD of the New York office from 2008 to 2010.As interim CEO, Leveton will work with PSB's newly created operating committee on strategy and management. The committee includes MDs Matt Carter, Curtis Freet, Amy Leveton, William Mann, and Jonathan Penn, as well as CFO Mike Pettingill.
In July, Mark Penn, CEO of PSB for 37 years and chief executive of Burson since 2005, left his roles at the WPP firms to join Microsoft, where he is serving as corporate VP for strategic and special projects. Baer took over Penn's role at PSB after his departure.
Two months later, Penn Schoen Berland president Michael Berland exited the firm to lead Edelman's new research and analytics business.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the years Leveton served as MD of Burson's New York office. He was MD from 2008 to 2010.