Richard Edelman, president and CEO, Edelman: Power List 2017

2017 rank: 7

Richard Edelman, president and CEO, Edelman: Power List 2017

The industry’s highest-profile agency PR pro’s eponymous firm stalled a little in 2016, posting its lowest organic growth in seven years at 1.7%, which Richard Edelman attributed to it being a "year of transition" as the business reshaped itself "beyond the narrow box of PR."

But the Edelman juggernaut rolls on and the world’s largest PR agency hit $875 million in global revenue, inching toward the magic $1 billion mark.

Edelman was instrumental in his agency winning one of the biggest PR pitches of 2016, the $14 million integrated product and communications business for HP, to add to the firm’s existing social media work, which results in a total account of about $22 million.

He also helped his firm win Chobani from archrival Weber Shandwick, and Edelman annexed a big KFC assignment out of its Dallas office. Crisis work for VW, Samsung, and Wells Fargo also kept the agency busy last year.

As Edelman anticipates a year with new regional leadership following the departure of veteran APACMEA boss David Brain after 13 years and a switch for former European and CIS CEO and president Michael Stewart to global vice chair, he’ll hope the last 12 months’ transition results in more solid growth in 2017.

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