OPINION: Canning leaves legacy at Edelman

Whatever the precise circumstances of Alison Canning's departure from the international president role at Edelman, the official reasons given by her bosses are worth closer scrutiny.

The most obvious reason is that Canning, who works by the maxim 'I have enough friends, there is a job to do', had created so many enemies that her downfall was inevitable. Her two-year reign saw her replace 80 per cent of the country heads within her remit - including, of course, the chairman and joint CEOs of the UK business. This guarantees that at least a ripple of schadenfreude will disrupt the placid lake of international PR this week.

But CEO Richard Edelman's explanation for ditching Canning's everything-but-the-US role - one which long predated her involvement with the firm - went beyond a breakdown in trust between Canning and the controlling family.

He claims the market has changed so radically that the only way to build non-US business is to export work from the US. Critics of this plan might say that only makes sense if there are people in the non-US management capable of holding onto that business and passing it on. Canning's legacy may prove to be a network of people able to do that.

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