B-M brings in pollster Penn as worldwide chief executive

NEW YORK: Burson-Marsteller (B-M) has hired Mark Penn, one of the founders of opinion research company Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, as global CEO.

Penn replaces outgoing CEO Tom Nides, who joined Morgan Stanley as chief administrative officer. Nides left in July after just eight months in the job.

Penn set up PSB with Mike Berland 30 years ago. In 2001, the agency was acquired by WPP, which also owns B-M.

He will remain as president of PSB, which will become a stand-alone B-M company, while Berland takes on greater responsibility as CEO of PSB.

Howard Paster, WPP executive vice-president for public relations, said called Penn's appointment was recognition of the close relationship between PR and the measurement of public opinion.

As well as leading PSB for 30 years, Penn – who joins B-M on 1 January - was a strategic adviser to former US president Bill Clinton from 1995 until the end of his administration in 2000.

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