Martin Langford, Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacific vice-chairman, is
returning to the UK to a new role after a five-year term in
Langford, a former chief executive of B-M London, is to head B-M’s
crisis and issue management practice across Europe.
In terms of income, B-M has one of, if not the largest issues and risk
management practices in Europe.
As managing director in the corporate practice, Langford will take over
the 30-strong team, which specialises in crisis and issues management,
co-ordinating activity across the Continent.
He takes up the role on 1 June and will report to Per Heggenes, B-M’s
European corporate practice head.
Dubbed by the Daily Telegraph as the ’master of disaster’ Langford is a
specialist in the area of risk management.
He has worked on more than 300 crises over 20 years, including the
infamous 1982 Tylenol incident when a batch of headache pills were
contaminated with sodium cyanide and six people died. A worldwide
product recall was undertaken and the product was successfully
relaunched six weeks later and recaptured its market share. Langford is
also an expert on Toxic Shock Sydrome, having worked in the area.
He said the move is a natural one and coincided with a desire to move
back to the UK to oversee his children’s education and allow his wife to
develop her career.
’You find that you get called by the same people again and again. Once a
crisis person, always a crisis person and at the moment, Europe is an
issues-rich area,’ he said.
’My job is to see a company from a crisis right through to the time when
it has to relaunch the product,’ he added. ’I think it’s an area that
represents real value to clients.’
Langford leaves the Asia-Pacific region as business is ’slowly but
surely picking up’ after what he described as a ’dreadful’ year. B-M now
has just nine offices in the area, having sold its offices in Kuala
Lumpur and Bangkok back to the local owners.