Breakfast Briefing: New tech lead at Finn Partners; Quarta faces pressure from WPP investors

The need-to-know news for PR pros to start the week.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

You heard it here first: Finn Partners has brought on Jodi Brooks, most recently chair of the U.S. technology practice at Burson-Marsteller, to lead its tech group. Sabrina Horn, who joined Finn Partners in 2015 when the firm acquired her eponymous shop, will transition to senior adviser. Finn Partners said in a statement that tech is its largest division with annual revenue of more than $25 million.

The pressure’s on Quarta. WPP executive chairman Roberto Quarta is facing a shareholder rebellion after advisory group Glass Lewis recommended investors vote against his re-election at WPP’s annual meeting next month. The firm cited a lack of a post-Martin-Sorrell succession plan and the "opaque nature of the investigation" that led to the departure of its former CEO in recommending a thumbs down vote (Guardian).

More about that… PRWeek’s sister title Campaign has a thorough before and after look this morning at the state of WPP. Part 1: Long live the king (the king is "starting again"); reflections on Sorrell’s reign. Part 2: Let’s stay together, the story of post-Sorrell WPP so far.

Michael Cohen’s pitch to businesses. AT&T and Novartis weren’t the only companies approached by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen in the early days of the Trump administration (Politico). Ford rejected a "consulting" pitch from Cohen in January 2017, and the automaker’s head of government affairs has been interviewed by the Mueller team about the proposal (Wall Street Journal). Uber also rejected Cohen’s pitch for advisory services (WSJ).

A Republican senator has called on White House communications aide Kelly Sadler to "show some respect and apologize" to Sen. John McCain for an ill-advised crack she made about his health at a White House meeting. Sadler has reportedly apologized to McCain’s daughter, but has not made a public statement (The Hill). White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reportedly lit into the administration comms team on Friday about the remark and its leak to the media. Details about the meeting were promptly leaked (Axios).

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