Marell will take up the role on 1 June, reporting directly to global president Lars Erik Grønntun, and will join H+K’s global leadership council as the leader in one of its key international markets.
She joins from independent communications agency JP KOM, where she was managing director, and previously served as chief executive of Edelman Germany for six years, overseeing the agency’s acquisition of consultancy ergo Kommunikation in 2015.
Prior to Edelman, Marell worked in-house as vice-president of corporate brand management at BASF SE, and VP of corporate communications at Cognis Deutschland.
Marell is a co-founder of the German chapter of Global Women in PR and helped build the Next Gen Leadership initiative.
“Susanne has that unique combination of traits that we have been looking for: a strong track record from both agency- and client-side, commercially and entrepreneurially minded, a good communicator and a proven people leader,” Grønntun said.
“She combines a strong foothold in the home market with an international outlook and we look forward to welcoming her into the H+K family.”
Marell said she was encouraged by H+K's aspirations for the German market and “our shared belief in where the future of PR is heading”.
She added: “The cultural spirit of our discussions did enlighten me, and I am also looking forward to meeting my new colleagues – although it might take a bit of time before I meet them all in person.”
H+K has strengthened across different markets in Europe during the coronavirus. In the UK the consultancy hired Nick Clark as its lead for financial and professional services and last week won a global brief for FTSE 100-listed company DS Smith.