Edelman hires Burrell as it searches for non-US work

Edelman has hired former Grayling Political Strategy chairman Michael Burrell to head its restructured European public affairs practice.

Burrell joins next month in the newly created role of European public affairs chairman, two months after being ousted in a reshuffle of Grayling Group's London operation (PRWeek, 11 October).

He will report to international president Alison Canning who said her aim was to boost non-US work from its current level of one third, to one half of all Edelman's business.

'In order to achieve this we need to bring in people to look across regions as we develop the business,' she said.

Cross-regional division heads already recruited this year include Carlo Crighton and Mike Seymour, as international heads of technology and crisis management respectively.

Canning added that Burrell would oversee expansion plans in Europe that include looking to create a PA presence in Berlin and stepping up work in France.

The agency has already restructured its Brussels office, appointing Charlotte Lester as its head in April and recruiting Teemu Lehtinen as the office's head of public affairs two months ago.

Burrell will also look at ways of boosting Edelman's portfolio of multi-national PA clients.

As part of the restructured public affairs operation, UK corporate and public affairs director Bernard Hughes has been promoted to director of European public affairs, and will now report to Burrell.

The UK corporate and PA division will continue to be overseen by deputy CEO Stuart Smith, supported by associate directors Jo Gibbons and Stephen Doherty, both promoted to director level.

Burrell said: 'There were half a dozen people who I had serious discussions with, but I was very impressed with Edelman's ambition.'

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