Finsbury names deputy CEO, head of operations

The appointments follow the exit of North America president Stephen Labaton.

NEW YORK: Finsbury has named Winnie Lerner as managing partner and deputy CEO of North America.

Lerner is reporting to Paul Holmes, CEO of North America, in the newly created position based in New York. Holmes will continue to serve as North America CEO, according to partner Ed Adler.

Holmes issued a memo to staff about the role change, which was read to PRWeek, on Monday morning. Her appointment was effective immediately.

"[Lerner] will coordinate business development and marshal collaboration among practice groups and across [Finsbury’s] U.S. offices," according to the memo, which Adler declined to provide in full, saying it contained confidential information.

The change was set in motion by the exit of North America president Stephen Labaton, who is joining Booz Allen Hamilton this month as EVP of corporate affairs, Adler said. Labaton had worked at Finsbury since 2012; he was named U.S. president in 2014.

Lerner most recently served as managing partner of North America, a role to which she was named in January, succeeding Holmes. Previously, she worked at Glover Park Group as leader of its New York office and capital markets practice.

In May 2017, public affairs-focused Glover Park entered a partnership with fellow WPP agencies Finsbury and Hering Schuppener, which are specialists in crisis, litigation, and capital markets work.

Holmes also said in the memo issued on Monday that Finsbury has named Sydney Neuhaus as managing partner and head of operations for North America. She will also report to Holmes and continue to be based in New York.

"Neuhaus is named to a new, internally focused role responsible for creating an even more fulfilling collaborative workplace," the memo said. "She also will work closely with our partners who oversee functional areas of our comms operation."

Karla Wagner, head of HR and talent, will report to Neuhaus.

Neuhaus, who has worked at the firm since 2009, is a founding member of its women’s initiatives and diversity committees. She was also Finsbury’s first woman partner in the U.S. Neuhaus was recognized on PRWeek’s Champions of PR list in 2016.

Miriam Sapiro, former partner and leader of Finsbury’s Washington, DC, office, joined Sard Verbinnen & Co. at the end of May as it launched SVC Public Affairs.

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