WASHINGTON: Edelman has promoted Lisa Osborne Ross to U.S. COO, a role that had been empty since December 2018.
The promotion is effective immediately. Ross is reporting to U.S. CEO Russell Dubner and keeping her title as president of Edelman’s Washington, DC, office.
As U.S. COO, she is replacing Julianna Richter, who left the agency at the end of 2018 before joining mergers and acquisitions advisory firm Waypoint Partners the next July.
The position had been empty until Ross’ appointment, and the agency began looking for a replacement in earnest in the last six months, said Dubner.
“Our whole industry is at a key inflection point, and I have incredible confidence that with [Ross] in this role we’ll be able to advance our clients’ and the agency’s agenda all the more quickly and adapt to change,” he said. “So having the right person at the right moment was key.”
Ross said that “the type of clients and the range of clients we get to work on is bar none.”
“The impact that we’re having with our counsel is something that someone at this point in my career would die for,” she added. “The opportunity to do more of that is what was so appealing.”
Dubner said that he and Ross will hit the road early this spring to visit Edelman’s offices and meet employees. Ross said her shortlist of tasks includes preparing for the upcoming global agency planning meeting in Madrid.
“We are very focused on our global meeting in Madrid. We call it the march to Madrid. The opportunity for us is that the U.S. is obviously very central in the Edelman enterprise and the Edelman orbit,” she said. “I am very excited about the things we’ll talk about in Madrid about the role of U.S. input and impact for our clients and our people.”
Edelman hired Ross two years ago. Previously, she was MD of APCO Worldwide’s Washington, DC, office and worked at Ogilvy and in the Clinton administration.
Ross’ promotion is the latest in a series of significant people moves at Edelman. Former Ogilvy U.S. head of PR and influence Michele Anderson left the WPP firm this month to join Edelman in Chicago. Last month, it promoted Megan Van Someren to global chair of brand and hired Pfizer’s Kirsty Graham as global CEO of public affairs.
Edelman’s revenue grew by 2.1% in 2019 to $892 million without taking into account the impact of currency fluctuations. When considering the effect of currency fluctuations, global revenue was up 0.4%.