NEW YORK: Weber Shandwick has named Susan Howe chief collaboration officer as part of a broader effort to drive integration across disciplines at the firm.
The agency’s goal is to boost integration across regions, practice areas, and specialties for key assignments worldwide, and, more broadly, collaboration among disciplines.
Howe, who assumed the role in the first week of June, is reporting to global president Gail Heimann.
For the past four years, Howe has served as president of Weber Shandwick’s largest practice, global consumer marketing. She said she plans to remain in that role until the end of the year. Previously, Howe oversaw operations for the Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, and Atlanta markets during her 21-year career at the firm, during which she has led work for Unilever, Anheuser-Busch, and Nestle.
"We need to bring together the best teams to help solve challenges," Howe said. "During my time in the consumer marketing practice, I was part of teams that brought specialties together. I’ve had good training around that as I continue to build teams across the agency."
The Interpublic Group firm also made regional appointments in EMEA and North America with the goal of boosting collaboration. It named Charlotte Witte EVP of brand transformation for EMEA. She will focus on integrating the business intelligence and data-driven approaches used by Prime and United Minds in the region.
Witte was formerly senior partner at Prime, a creative PR shop based in Stockholm that was acquired by Weber in 2014.
Weber’s EMEA operations recently lost two senior executives. U.K. and EMEA CEO Colin Byrne said he is planning to leave the firm in early 2018, and EMEA chief strategy officer Adam Mack has resigned to work as a consultant.
Howe said the appointments are not connected to the departures of Byrne and Mack.
The firm has also named Alan Kercinik as EVP of brand transformation for North America. He was most recently EVP and deputy lead of global consumer marketing and global creative and strategic lead for Motorola, according to his LinkedIn account.
Both Witte and Kercinik are reporting to Howe.
Weber’s public affairs practice underwent a change in leadership this month, with former Powell Tate president Pam Jenkins replacing Ranny Cooper as its global leader.
Weber logged 7% organic revenue growth in 2016 as it surpassed the $800 million barrier globally and the $500 million mark in the U.S.