Hill+Knowlton Strategies changes senior leadership structure

Richard Millar will lead U.S. operations while Lars Erik Grønntun takes over operations in the rest of the world.

From the left: Richard Millar, AnnaMaria DeSalva, and Lars Erik Grønntun.
From the left: Richard Millar, AnnaMaria DeSalva, and Lars Erik Grønntun.

NEW YORK: Hill+Knowlton Strategies has picked Richard Millar to lead U.S. operations, while Lars Erik Grønntun will take over the agency’s operations in the rest of the world, effective immediately.

Until now, Millar and Grønntun shared general responsibility for the agency’s global operations, an H+K spokeswoman said. Millar and Grønntun will keep their titles as global presidents at Hill+Knowlton and continue to report to the firm’s global CEO and chairman AnnaMaria DeSalva.

In addition to his new responsibilities, Millar will retain the agency’s global client, creativity and innovation agendas. He will soon relocate from the U.K. to the U.S., an agency representative told PRWeek.

Hill+Knowlton has been without a formal leader for the U.S. since last year, when its content division SJR split off to become a free-floating WPP agency. While it was still part of Hill+Knowlton, SJR’s CEO Alex Jutkowitz and its chief client officer Erin Gentry led U.S. operations for H+K. 

Grønntun now leads H+K’s operations in the U.K., Germany, Canada and Greater China, as well as Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Turkey, India, Africa, Continental Europe and the Nordic clusters. 

The shift in Millar and Grønntun’s remits is the first senior level change made by DeSalva since she took over leadership of the agency from Jack Martin who retired July 1.

The company also said that global CFO Andy Scharf, global chief talent and human resources officer Kate Augustine, global chief business development officer Sam Lythgoe, global general counsel Meredith Marks and the agency’s global sector leads all now report to DeSalva.

Prior to the changes, Scharf, Augustine and Lythgoe reported to Grønntun, while the global sector leads reported to Millar.

According to the PRWeek Agency Business Report 2019, revenue at H+K grew 3% last year to $400 million. WPP’s Q2 revenue for its PR division, which includes H+K, BCW, Finsbury and Buchanan, declined 2.6% on a like-for-like basis.

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