NEW YORK: Burson-Marsteller has hired MSLGroup vet Kyle Farnham as chair, U.S. consumer and brand marketing practice, effective February 1.
Farnham will report to Burson U.S. CEO Mike Fernandez. U.S. chief client officer Jon Wentzel has been interim practice leader since October 2015.
Farnham will be responsible for building the practice’s portfolio and helping grow consumer brands. The number of people he will oversee was not disclosed.
"My focus will be on inspiring and leading the team to do and deliver amazing work for our clients, and do so in a way that makes an impact on their business," Farnham told PRWeek.
Fernandez added that although Farnham will be focused on leading the firm’s consumer and brand marketing practice, he is looking forward to having a "thought partner as Burson deals with a lot of other creative and strategic issues."
"This is quite a coup for us," said Fernandez. "Farnham has built brands and teams that have delivered for clients."
Farnham joins Burson from MSLGroup, where he has worked for more than 16 years, most recently as MD of the Publicis firm’s Atlanta office since 2010. In that role, he worked with clients including Abbott, Comcast, The Home Depot, Merial, Purina, RaceTrac, UPS, and VF Corporation.
While at MSLGroup, Farnham spearheaded the development of a full-service digital marketing and social media offering and team, including the build out of the office’s in-house content production capability, according to a release.
His role was also recently expanded as part of a senior U.S. leadership restructuring at MSLGroup. Farnham took on responsibility for the agency’s organic growth in the U.S., working closely with global client engagement director Stephanie Smith.
His replacement at MSLGroup has not been named yet.
"Under Farnham’s leadership, Atlanta has become one of the fastest growing and most exciting offices in the U.S., delivering some of our most innovative and impactful work and thinking for many of our top clients," said MSLGroup U.S. CEO Ron Guirguis. "We wish him all the best in his next position and have already begun a search for his successor."
Earlier in his career, Farnham was director of PR for Mizuno USA.
Burson has made several senior appointments in recent months. The firm upped Fernandez, who joined in September as chair of its global corporate and financial practice, to U.S. CEO earlier this month. It also appointed Joel Benenson, former chief strategist for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, as worldwide vice chair in January,and named Kevin Bell worldwide president a month earlier.
Helaine Klasky also joined the firm as chair of its U.S. public affairs and crisis practice this month.