Edelman appoints AIG’s Soni Basi as global chief people officer

The former head of talent at global insurance giant AIG and will lead Edelman's talent and recruitment strategy.

Basi will replace Marie-Claire Barker at Edelman.

NEW YORK: Edelman has named Soni Basi as global chief people officer, effective May 9. 

Based in New York, Basi will lead Edelman's talent development, recruitment and retention with a focus on meeting the evolving and diverse needs of clients and employees. She will report to Edelman global president and COO Matthew Harrington. 

Basi is set to replace Marie-Claire Barker, who left Edelman in December to join WPP media agency GroupM as chief people officer.

Basi comes to the agency as Edelman transitions to a hybrid workplace and looks to keep up with employee expectations, which Harrington sees as an immediate benefit.

The independent firm had more than 6,000 staff around the globe and nearly 2,900 in the U.S. as of the end of last year, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report 2022.

"Soni's track record spans delivering creative and digital-first initiatives that have transformed talent acquisition, performance and talent management, succession planning and DEI, among other areas that are key to engaging and developing an effective and motivated workforce," he said. 

Basi is joining Edelman from insurance company AIG, where she was global head of talent. She created the first global talent center of excellence and the company’s diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging strategy. Basi also served as co-chair of AIG’s executive diversity council.

Prior to AIG, Basi served as the VP of global talent at Allergan Pharmaceuticals and VP of global learning and talent development at Estee Lauder. She was also director of global learning and development at Merck. 

Maria O'Keeffe left her role at Edelman as global chief talent officer of practices, sectors and clients in March to join Ogilvy as chief people officer. This month, Kimberly Francis, who was EVP, client lead and operations director left Edelman to become CMO at Tenth Avenue Holdings

Edelman posted a 17% global revenue increase in 2021 to $984 million, according to PRWeek's Agency Business Report 2022. In the US, the agency saw a 16% revenue increase to $613 million. 

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