Hill+Knowlton Strategies' Erin Gentry to join Group SJR

H+K is divesting SJR, currently its content division, at the start of next year.

NEW YORK: Hill+Knowlton Strategies U.S. president Erin Gentry is set to join Group SJR, which will begin operating independently at the start of next year, as chief client officer.

Effective January 1, Gentry will report to Alexander Jutkowitz, who will continue to lead SJR with Mitch Stoller.  Gentry is currently H+K’s U.S. president and global co-lead of client services. She has worked at the firm for nearly 13 years.

"We very much look forward to continuing to work with [Gentry] in her new capacity at SJR," said an H+K representative.

H+K said this month that it is divesting the content division, with SJR beginning to operate independently within WPP. As part of the global restructuring, Richard Millar and Lars Erik Grønntun will serve as global presidents of H+K, reporting jointly to global chairman and CEO Jack Martin.

H+K U.S. leadership is set to remain the same through this year as it searches for a U.S. leader, according to the agency representative.

Jutkowitz told PRWeek in a previous interview that Group SJR had grown fourfold since it was bought by WPP five years ago. At the time it was acquired, SJR had 50 staffers and had just posted annual revenue of $13.6 million for the 12 months to May 31, 2013. It now has 180 employees worldwide, 130 of them in New York.

Earlier this year, sister WPP PR shops Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe merged to form Burson Cohn & Wolfe. Other agencies within the holding company, such as the former Y&R and VML have also recently been consolidated. Last week, WPP said it is discontinuing its WPP Health & Wellness "sub-holding company" and merging its agencies into the holding company’s creative shops.

Gentry, who could not be reached for additional comment, was named a PRWeek Hall of Femme honoree earlier this year.

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