Edelman names EMEA head of digital amid continued hiring spree

Edelman has hired Felicitas Olschewski, most recently global director of digital strategy and innovation at Adidas, as head of digital, EMEA, among other senior hires and promotions.

Edelman names EMEA head of digital amid continued hiring spree

In her role, Felicitas Olschewski (pictured) will lead a team of 78 across the region. The agency said as head of digital, EMEA, she would be responsible for "deepening the region’s strategic approach and operating model to integrated communications and marketing through digital with a focus on strategic advisory, digital content, innovation and experience for clients".

At Adidas, she also held a number of senior digital, creative and innovation strategy roles in product innovation. She previously worked agency-side at TBWA, DDB & Tribal, DentsuACHTUNG! and 72andSunny.

The EMEA head of digital role has been revived after five years, having previously been held by Marshall Manson then Gregoire Assemat Tessandier. After Tessandier’s departure in 2016, digital had been led at a local market level in the region.

As well as appointing Olschewski, Edelman has promoted Jay Gallagher to an expanded role as chief strategy officer. He will be responsible for leading and growing the strategy and planning function across EMEA. Gallagher joined the company seven years ago to lead planning for Edelman UK. The agency said he has been instrumental in building the community in the region to include 27 planners and strategists.

Olschewski and Gallagher join the senior EMEA team led by AJ Hesselink, chief operating officer of Edelman EMEA. Others on the team include chief creative officers Mattias Ronge and Stefan Ronge, and Toby Gunton, head of DxI EMEA, Edelman’s research, analytics and data arm.

Meanwhile, Joe Carmody has been promoted to general manager and chief executive of Edelman's Ireland business. The agency said he has grown the business exponentially since taking over leadership of the office in 2014. In addition, Piaras Kelly, Feargal Purcell and Darragh Rea become managing directors of their respective functions. Niamh Garvey has also been appointed executive director international health UK and Ireland, with plans to grow the health business across the region.

Edelman has also made senior creative hires in France, Spain and the UK. Joining the 79-strong creative team across the region, Lauren Haberfield has taken on the role of creative director in Edelman France, having previously held roles at McCann, Ogilvy & Mather and, most recently, BETC. Felipe Braz was recently hired as creative director in Spain, having previously held roles at creative agencies in Spain, Belgium and Brazil including Ogilvy and DDB’s OneWG. Earlier this summer Lex Di Benedetto joined Edelman UK as creative director.

Speaking to PRWeek in March, Edelman EMEA chief executive and president Ed Williams said the business in the region had moved from "a patchwork of capabilities" to one of "regional leaders and centres of excellence".

Williams said today: “We are now seeing the rubber hit the road of our regional strategy – senior hires operating in a country-agnostic manner against complex client mandates. Our horizontal integration strategy is simple: we bring the best of the firm to our clients every day, fusing deep local market knowledge and connectivity, with industry-leading specialist experience. The new hires and promotions we are announcing today strengthen our arm further in respect to delivering against this ambition.”

Last month, Edelman announced a series of senior appointments and promotions in its health team across EMEA, including the return of former OPEN Health managing director Vicky Bramham.

This article was updated on Tuesday afternoon to clarify that this is a revival of the head of digital, EMEA, role, rather than the first time the position has existed.

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