Strategy, creative execs David Armano, Tom Parker leave Edelman

The firm is laying off nearly 400 employees and making other cost-cutting measures.

L to R: Tom Parker and David Armano
L to R: Tom Parker and David Armano

CHICAGO: Edelman global strategy director David Armano and chief creative officer Tom Parker are among those leaving the firm as it eliminates nearly 7% of its workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“COVID-19 put a sudden end to my nearly 11 years at global marketing communications firm Edelman,” Armano wrote in a LinkedIn post.  

Parker posted a similar statement on LinkedIn: “Last week, I joined 400 other #Edelman colleagues and became an #EdelmanAlumni. While not the exact moment I would have chosen, I’m excited for what’s next.”

Edelman said last week that it is reducing its headcount by 390 staffers or just less than 7% of its global workforce, and asking for salary reductions of 5% to 20% scaled by compensation level. 

Edelman hired Armano in 2009 as SVP in its digital practice. He was promoted to global strategy director in 2013. 

“[June 5] will be my last day at the labor of love of a company where I spent nearly 11 years working with some of the brightest minds, world-class clients and companies this planet has to offer,” Armano wrote on his personal blog last Wednesday. “Like many others, COVID-19 and the economic fallout it causes has come knocking directly on my door, co-mingled with a backdrop of social unrest and palpable frustration that so many of us are feeling. It's the most intense of times.”

Armano added that he will be “hitting pause briefly” and taking some time to think about his plans. 

Parker joined Edelman in 2010, as part of the firm’s earned creative approach. 

"For those of you involuntarily de-coupled (and for those left behind,) I have some perspective. In 25 years I’ve been on all sides of this equation,” Parker wrote on LinkedIn, before offering uplifting advice to other staffers who have also been laid off.

Neither Armano nor Parker responded to requests for additional comment about their departures. Edelman also did not immediately comment on the two departures or how many other senior staffers were let go. 

While Armano and Parker used LinkedIn to say goodbye to colleagues at Edelman, Margot Edelman used the platform to say that she had been promoted to SVP and Bay tech lead at her family’s privately-held PR agency. Margot Edelman was named SVP in September and bay tech lead in March. 

Edelman CEO Richard Edelman also said last week that DJE Holdings shops Zeno Group and United Entertainment Group would be making job cuts. Zeno has said it eliminated 25 positions, furloughed others and enacted salary cuts. UEG representatives have not responded to requests for comment about how many employees have been let go. 

Edelman followed other PR shops in making cost-cutting measures due to the pandemic. PR firms from Interpublic Group, Omnicom Group and WPP have also eliminated positions and introduced cost-cutting measures in response to the pandemic.  

Organic global revenue for Edelman rose 2.1% in 2019 to $892 million without accounting for the impact of currency fluctuations. When they were considered, global revenue grew 0.4%.

This story was updated on June 10 to correct Parker's start date at Edelman and with additional information. 

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