LONDON: Edelman has promoted UK chief Robert Phillips to the role of EMEA CEO, as revealed by the Holmes Report earlier today.
The development concludes a lengthy search to fill the vacancy triggered by the departure of former EMEA CEO David Brain, who becomes Edelman Asia-Pacific CEO this month. Phillips’ ascension means that Edelman is now searching for a CEO of its UK operations, with deputy CEO Susan Eastoe taking over interim leadership.
Brain’s departure was revealed by the Holmes Report in August last year. Since then, agency CEO Richard Edelman has conducted a comprehensive global search for his replacement. Phillips prevailed over other contenders thanks to the rapid growth he has overseen at Edelman UK, and his digital and thought leadership credentials.
“This is a guy who has done a spectacular job for us in London,” Edelman told the Holmes Report. “He has grown it by 55 percent for us in four years. He gets digital and he’s a serious intellectual.”
“David [Brain] is a pretty formidable act to follow and I wouldn’t be where I was today if he hadn’t helped broker the original JCPR deal,” said Phillips.
“The success of London is not entirely down to me – it’s a genuine team effort and without people like Susan Eastoe and Jackie Cooper beside me that wouldn’t have happened,” he added. “I hope to bring the same level of commitment, enthusiasm and ambition to the European role as we brought to the UK role. I genuinely think I’ve got a contribution to make and I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t think I could make a difference.”
Edelman’s EMEA revenues reached $101 million, approximately 19 percent of the firm’s global fee income, in 2010.
Phillips co-founded consumer PR firm Jackie Cooper PR in 1987, before the agency was sold to Edelman in 2004. In 2007 he became UK CEO of the firm. In 2009, the agency was named Consultancy of the Year by PRWeek UK.
The Holmes Report analysed the reshuffle, and its implications for the race to succeed Richard Edelman himself, in this story last year.