Barron (above), who led Edelman UK’s 80-strong corporate reputation team for nearly three years, has a remit to drive the growth and transformation of MHP and oversee its corporate affairs, public affairs and brand teams, the Engine-owned agency said.
Edelman has handed Barron's duties to Rachel Bower, who has been with the firm for 14 years, on an interim basis.
Barron spent 12 years at Edelman, advising clients including Unilever, GSK, Manchester City FC and The Economist Group.
MHP said changes introduced since the appointment of former Edelman London general manager Bigg late last year have included the creation of the MHP Media Unit, led by former News of the World political editor Ian Kirby. Recent client wins have included UK Power Networks, uSwitch, Liverpool Vision and BASF. Its corporate affairs head Jonathan Lomax also left the firm over the summer.
Bigg said: "I’m delighted that Nick will be joining us. Having worked with him previously, I know him to be a rare combination – a world-class adviser and a brilliant leader."
Engine Europe and Asia Pacific CEO Debbie Klein said Barron's arrival was a "milestone in the evolution of MHP, which has been growing strongly under Alex Bigg’s leadership".
Revenue at MHP grew three per cent in 2016 to £17.1m, according to PRWeek's UK Top 150 Consultancies table. It followed stagnant growth in 2015 and a dip in revenue in 2014.
Thanks from Edelman
An Edelman statement said: "After more than 12 years at Edelman, Nick Barron has made the decision to take on a new challenge and is moving to pastures new. Nick successfully led our corporate practice for almost three years and has been a fantastic leader and colleague. We would like to thank Nick for the big contribution he has made and wish him all the best.
"Our corporate practice will be led in the interim by Rachel Bower, as acting managing director. Rachel has been with Edelman for over 14 years, latterly as deputy managing director. Rachel will work alongside the senior team where recent hires have included senior strategist James Morris, creative specialist Ryan Reddick, and senior director Ross Hall."