Weber Shandwick brings on Lee Ann Townes to lead New York social impact team

Weber also hired Amazon's Melanie Janin.

Lee Ann Townes
Lee Ann Townes

NEW YORK: Weber Shandwick added two senior staffers to its global social impact practice: Lee Ann Townes as EVP and lead of the New York social impact team and Melanie Janin as an EVP and sustainability strategist. 

Townes, who started in the position August 19, reports to Joy Farber Kolo, president of Weber Shandwick East and is based in New York. Townes replaced Laura Kline who in February went to the Rockefeller Foundation as MD of communications and program influence, according to her LinkedIn profile. 

Janin started in the newly created position September 3, is based in Seattle and reports to Will Ludlam, president of Weber Shandwick West. 

The two women will work with the Interpublic Group agency’s global social impact, corporate, consumer and public affairs teams, helping clients manage social purpose issues, manage their CSR initiatives and increase awareness of their environmental, social and governance efforts, according to a statement from Weber.

Prior to Weber, Townes was an SVP of social purpose and sustainability for MSL, which did not immediately comment on her move or if it had filled her role. Before MSL, according to LinkedIn, Townes worked at Golin for nearly eight years, most recently as director of corporate communications.

Janin moves to Weber from Amazon, where she was global corporate communications lead of sustainability and social responsibility from January 2017 to January 2019. Amazon declined to comment on her move to Weber.

Before Amazon, according to LinkedIn, Janin was managing director of communications for Business for Social Responsibility, a management consulting firm.

Revenue at Weber grew 5% in 2018 to $846 million compared to $805.5 million in 2017, according to the PRWeek Agency Business Report 2019.

Weber belongs to IPG’s Constituency Management Group, along with PR firms like Golin and specialist marketing agencies such as Jack Morton and Octagon. PR firms in CMG registered low-single-digit revenue growth on both an as-reported and organic basis in Q2 2019.

In July, IPG promoted former Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky to CMG chairman and CEO. He was replaced at Weber by former agency president Gail Heimann.

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