LONDON – Edelman has promoted Michelle Hutton from CEO of its Australian region to global head of consumer — Edelman’s largest practice, making up about 30% of its global revenues.
Hutton is moving to London to take on the new position, making it the first time the role has been based outside of the US. Earlier this month, Edelman hired Stephanie Lvovich as global chair of its public affairs practice, also based in London.
“When we were looking at options around our network, we thought London would be interesting because the UK is one of our leading offices with tremendous brand and digital capabilities,” Hutton said. “With me and Stephanie based in London, we now have two senior global roles outside the US. That sends a strong message internally and externally.”
The global consumer chair has been vacant since Jennifer Cohan stepped into the role of president of Edelman New York. CEO Richard Edelman recently forecasted increasing collaboration between the consumer and corporate practices.
“We are looking into how can we align consumer/brand more closely with corporate because CMOs and CCOs are working more closely together — and they should be,” Hutton said, adding that integrating digital into the practice will also be an ongoing priority.
During her four-year tenure as head of Australia, Hutton tripled Edelman’s Australian operation. In 2012, she led the acquisition and integration of digital agency, Design Royale — which resulted in digital revenues accounting for more than 30% of Australia’s total revenue in FY 2014.
Meanwhile, to encourage cross-practice engagements, Edelman recently moved technology and healthcare from being practice areas to becoming sectors, alongside energy, financial services and food & beverage. Edelman’s global practices are now business and social purpose, consumer marketing, corporate, crisis and risk and public affairs.
“It’s too early for me to be specific but it’s very much our intention for our consumer practice to be focused on sectors beyond food and beverages,” Hutton said. “We want the practice to partner with all our sector specialists.”
The consumer practice — which accounts for up to $230 million of Edelman’s global revenues — counts heavyweight clients like Unilever, Tupperware and Starbucks in its portfolio.
Hutton will report to Ben Boyd, president of practices, sectors and offerings. Tim Riches, currently managing director of Designworks in Australia, will succeed Hutton as the CEO of Edelman Australia in late November.