Edelman names new EMEA COO

Edelman has promoted the GM of its Amsterdam firm, Arent Jan Hesselink, to chief operating officer of EMEA under the leadership of new EMEA CEO and president Ed Williams.

Williams was promoted to the EMEA leadership role earlier this month and both appointments are effective from October 1. 

Hesselink (pictured) will be succeeded by deputy general manager Steven Heywood.

Hesselink joined Edelman four years ago to lead the agency’s Dutch business. During that time he has implemented a strategy to address clients’ strategic communication challenges through multidisciplinary communications and marketing solutions. Under his leadership, Edelman Amsterdam has doubled in size. 

Prior to joining Edelman, he spent more than nine years working at Philips, where he held senior leadership roles in the global integrated marketing function, and was CMO for the Asia Pacific region, working out of Singapore. He began his career as a business journalist for Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal. 

Ed Williams, president & CEO, EMEA, said: "AJ has demonstrated how our firm can add value through strategic problem-solving in areas like shareholder activism and modern digital campaigning. Under his leadership Edelman Amsterdam has become a critical partner to our clients. He’s attracted significant new clients for the network and has transformed the office into one that develops and executes high-quality, integrated communications and marketing work.

Hesselink added: "The past few years in Amsterdam have been amazing, and it has been an absolute honour to lead such a talented team of professionals and work with such a broad array of amazing clients. I am excited about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, and I am looking forward to working with Ed and the leadership team in the EMEA region to further improve the quality, integration and effectiveness of the work we deliver." 

Heywood will assume the role of general manager on 1 November. He built and led the first integrated client team in the Amsterdam office and since then has "continued to be instrumental to the turnaround of the business".

Prior to joining Edelman, he was head of corporate communications for eBay, and has held roles at McDonald’s, the Ministry of Defence, and several global agencies.

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