HONG KONG—Mark Hass, who stepped down last year as chief executive of MS&L Worldwide, has joined Edelman as president of Edelman China. Hass brings three decades of experience as a journalist, entrepreneur and communications professional, and was most recently founding partner and CEO of MH Group Communications, which specializes in corporate communications and social media and is now being merged into Edelman’s digital practice.
Hass will report to Alan VanderMolen, president of Edelman Asia Pacific, and assumes leadership of one of China’s largest PR firms with two brands—Edelman and Pegasus—and more than 165 employees with offices in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou and clients including 3M, Anheuser-Busch, BMW, China Unicom, The Carlyle Group, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Nike, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Shell, Starbucks and Wal-Mart.
Hass joined MS&L in 2002 when it acquired his firm, Hass Associates, and became CEO in 2005. During his tenure as CEO, MS&L revenue grew more than 43percent overall, and annual profits grew more than 225 percent. He expanded the firm’s network through organic investment and acquisition, adding 25 offices. Earlier, as CEO of Ann Arbor-based Hass Associates, he focused on corporate, executive, litigation, and crisis communications for clients such as Chrysler, Daimler Benz, Toyota, the State of Michigan and University of Michigan.
According to Hass: ”There is no communications market more dynamic, more poised for growth and more exciting for a public relations professional to work than China.”
Hass will be based in Beijing and will lead China with the support of Steven Cao, founder and president of Pegasus; Kevin Wang, managing director, Beijing; Tony Tao, managing director, Shanghai and Onie Chu, general manager of Edelman in Guangzhou. In addition, Shirley Wong-Walker and James Cook will also join Edelman in China. Wong-Walker will be the firm’s national practice head for health and Cook will chair the firm’s technology practice.
Wong-Walker brings more than 14 years agency and in-house experience including three years at the Ministry of Health in Canada and was previously regional director of MS&L Worldwide healthcare. Cook joins Edelman from MS&L Canada where was vice president, corporate and technology practice. Earlier, he was vice president, corporate and technology for Weber Shandwick, Beijing, and led Microsoft and Nortel relationships across Asia Pacific.