Edelman names Kevin Cook Chicago president

He replaces Rachel Winer.

Kevin Cook was most recently Edelman's Chicago COO.
Kevin Cook was most recently Edelman's Chicago COO.

CHICAGO: Edelman has selected Kevin Cook as president of its Chicago office.

Cook, who was most recently Edelman’s Chicago COO, is taking over from Rachel Winer as head of the firm’s Chicago office. Winer, according to a company statement, is leaving to pursue a new opportunity. She declined to comment.

"[Winer] brought a fresh perspective and a lot of energy here," said Edelman's U.S. CEO Russell Dubner. "We only wish her the best and are sure she will do great in her next endeavor."

Cook will report to Dubner and oversee 600 staffers. The changes will be effective at the start of the new year. The Chicago COO role will be eliminated, said Dubner.

"We are fortunate to have someone in [Cook] who is considered a world class client counselor among the most senior levels of some of our largest clients," Dubner said, explaining the decision.

Cook called the president role his dream job.

"I have spent the better part of life here going on 25 years," said Cook. "We have world class clients and some of the best talent anywhere in the world. I have had the opportunity to build and help shape the office with many others here and now I have the opportunity to continue to build and make it great."

Winer assumed the president role in August 2018, succeeding Jay Porter. At the same time, Porter moved into a newly created role as CEO of Revere, a separate agency within Daniel J. Edelman Holdings. 

Winer’s departure is the latest in a series of senior moves at the agency. In October, Edelman picked Matthew Harrington, formerly global COO, to be global president - the third person to hold the title after CEO Richard Edelman and his father, the agency’s late founder, Daniel Edelman. 

Not long before that move, the agency announced that Arent Jan Hesselink, GM of its Amsterdam firm, would become COO of EMEA under the leadership of newly minted EMEA CEO and president Ed Williams.

Later in October, the agency named Wunderman Thompson alum Yannis Kotziagkiaouridis as its first global head of data and analytics. And in November, Edelman picked Melissa Nelson to lead its Pacific Northwest region.

Revenue at Edelman dropped 1% in 2018 to $888.4 million. At the time, Edelman attributed some of the drop to decreased spending by big brands.

Editor's note: This story was updated with comments from Cook and Dubner on December 18.

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