The former Hill & Knowlton PRO is one of four Edelman employees in such talks. Also being consulted are a creative director, account director and business development director in different departments.
Kan told PRWeek he was taken aback by the decision, which he stressed was provisional. He said: ‘It was a surprise. Under my leadership the healthcare team has gone from number 11 to number two in the PRWeek Healthcare League tables and has grown from 20 to 65 people.’
Edelman CEO Robert Phillips said: ‘It is an open consultation and they have been provisionally selected. We will be talking about other opportunities in the agency. We are not making the people redundant but the roles. It is not performance-related.’
Phillips insisted the process was not in response to any client losses. He said: ‘We are making sure that the business is in the right shape.’
As European health MD, Kan reports to European CEO David Brain and global president of health Nancy Turett – and to CEO Robert Phillips for the UK work.
Kan was promoted to European health MD last summer following the departure of executive vice president Kate Triggs (PRWeek, 3 July 2008). He took on the European role alongside his existing responsibilities as UK health MD.
Kan joined Edelman four years ago from his role as Hill & Knowlton UK healthcare MD. News of the consultation comes just two weeks after Edelman made two senior appointments in its UK health
team. Yvette Venable and Jenny Heffron both joined the healthcare team as directors (PRWeek, 30 June).
Venable was previously a senior comms strategist at Bristol-Myers Squibb EMEA, based in Paris.
Heffron joined from healthcare agency Synergy.
Edelman came second in PRWeek’s Top 25 Healthcare Consultancies 2009. It had a fee income of £6,302,000 – a five per cent increase on its 2008 figures. The agency was pipped to the top spot by Chandler Chicco Companies.