Bergen Leaves Council to Head Siemens PR
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Bergen Leaves Council to Head Siemens PR

Jack Bergen, president of the Council of Public Relations firms since its foundation, is leaving to become senior vice president of corporate affairs and marketing for the U.S. operations of Siemens Corporation

Paul Holmes

NEW YORK, December 6—Jack Bergen, president of the Council of Public Relations firms since its foundation in 1998, is leaving to become senior vice president of corporate affairs and marketing for the U.S. operations of German electronics and engineering company Siemens Corporation.
 
Siemens is embarking on a major campaign to build its corporate brand and increase its involvement in the United States, its largest market worldwide, and Bergen will be responsible for developing and executing the company’s U.S. integrated marketing, advertising and public relations strategy as well as for communications with its 80,000 US-based employees.
 
Says Klaus Kleinfield, the company’s chief executive officer designate, “Siemens has a multitude of business operations in all 50 states, each with a proud legacy of innovation and superior customer service and social responsibility. Jack Bergen has the ideal combination of expertise and energy to build on that goodwill, to encourage collaboration and communication among the managers and employees of those businesses, and to focus on the power and promise of the Siemens global brand to move our US business forward.”
 
Siemens is embarking on a two-tier strategic program it calls “top+ / US Business Initiative,” which will combine its various U.S.-based core businesses into a single company focused on building products essential to the health of the U.S. economy, its businesses and its citizens. Says Kleinfield, “We have also set and are committed to achieving ambitious performance targets for each of our US businesses. Marshalling the communications support for this undertaking is a tremendous task—and I believe that Jack is the right person to lead this effort.”
 
Immediately prior to joining the Council, Bergen was senior the senior vice president for corporate relations at Westinghouse Electric Corporation and was on the leadership team responsible for the transformation of Westinghouse into a media company, the CBS Corporation. At CBS he directed corporate communications with investors, customers, employees, government and the media. Previously, he was president and CEO of GCI Group and president of Hill & Knowlton U.S.
 
John Graham, who this week was elected chairman of the Council’s board, paid tribute to Bergen’s contribution to the organization: “In just three years, the Council has become a solid, well-established organization, a respected institution of our profession. We have a winning strategy and an aggressive program focused on building the value of public relations as a strategic business tool, an agenda that is making things happen for our firms and our clients. Much of the credit for that progress belongs to Jack Bergen and Sarah Drennan, our Council staff, who have done so much, so quickly.”
 
Outgoing Council chairman Dave Drobis added: “Few American communications executives are as qualified as Jack Bergen to represent a world class European corporation like Siemens in the United States. Jack is widely known throughout the international public relations community as a thought leader, innovator and respected counselor to CEOs.”
 
Drennan will become acting president of the Council will a search for a replacement is underway.
 
Joining Graham on the leadership team at Rich Jernstedt of Golin/Harris International as vice-chair and chair-elect, Helen Vollmer of Vollmer Public Relations as secretary and Sabrina Horn of Horn Group is treasurer. Seven new directors areCathy Dunkin (The Standing Partnership), Joe Epley (Epley Associates), Sandy Harbrecht (Paul Werth Associates), Gwin Johnston (JohnstonWells), Leif Noren (Creative Response Concepts), Claudia Gaines-Patton (The Headline Group) and Ron Rogers (Rogers & Associates).
 
Said Bergen: “The Council has been the most fulfilling job of my career. It gave me the opportunity to work with an outstanding group of businessmen and women who are setting the standards for our profession. I’ve learned much from them and they’ve been generous with their time, talents and friendship. I leave with the satisfaction that the Council is thriving and with the reassurance that it is in the good hands of an outstanding group of officers and directors.”
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