SAN FRANCISCO — Huntsworth’s Grayling has consolidated in the US and unveiled new branding, as part of an initiative by global CEO Pete Pedersen to make the firm more competitive in North America.
The firm has also transitioned to a single profit-and-loss structure in the US with plans to implement a regional CEO before 2014, Pedersen told the Holmes Report. Prior US head Chris Boehlke now leads Grayling San Francisco and holds a global client services post.
With the reorg, Grayling now has four practices areas -- with plans to eventually add more, as well as six local GMs. Given Pedersen’s background as global tech lead at Edelman, tech ranks as a core practice area, along with digital, healthcare and innovation/advocacy.
Lobbying firm DutkoGrayling will become subsumed into its parent brand. Acquired by Grayling in 2009, Dutko was rebranded DutkoGrayling two years ago following a period of revenue decline, and shortly after this, its longtime CEO Mark Irion stepped down. Pedersen has not yet named a new head of this operation, which is now Grayling Washington, DC.
Meanwhile Grayling subsidiary Atomic will retain its branding, but operate more closely with its parent firm. Atomic co-founders Andy Getsey and James Hannon are now co-leads of Grayling’s tech practice, while also running Atomic’s Bay Area operations.
“You’ll see a lot more joint pitches and staff swaps -- indicating the general direction of the business,” Pedersen said. “Atomic is operating as a business unit of Grayling, so we can be either Atomic or Grayling, depending on client needs.”
As a consolidated entity, Grayling will have 300 people in the US. Worldwide, Grayling has 53 offices and brought in about $132 million of fee income in 2012 -- down nearly 8% from the year prior; Atomic’s 2012 revenues were about $18.7 million. Including Atomic’s various outposts, Grayling now has 11 offices in the US.
Grayling has also unveiled a brightly-colored logo that represents “more than a reskinning but a fundamental change on what we do and how we do it. We’re a newcomer that was a collection of acquisitions,” Pedersen said. The new logo is intended to evoke structure surrounded by agility and fluidity, with a nod to “the Grayling way and our ambitions.” The firm previously rebranded in 2010.
These moves dovetail with other recent Grayling announcements, including the restructuring of European leadership duties, following the exit of former CEO Michael Murphy. The firm has also hired Perry Tell as US head of digital, amid Chinese firm BlueFocus’ investment in Grayling’s parent company Huntsworth.
Also, in January 2014, Bob Pickard will become Huntsworth’s regional CEO, Asia Pacific. Grayling’s regional structure also includes Grayling UK, led by Alison Clarke; Grayling Western Europe, led by Wolfgang Lang; Grayling Middle East, Turkey and Africa, led by Loretta Ahmed; and Grayling CEE & Russia, led by Jan Simunek.