SINGAPORE—Hill+Knowlton Strategies is unifying its 16 operations in China, Asia, India and the Pacific into an Asia-Pacific regional structure. Vivian Lines, global vice chair and currently the firm’s global head of practices and co-lead of client service, will serve as chairman of Asia-Pacific.
The remainder of H+K’s leadership in the region will remain in place: John Morgan, president and CEO of Asia; Ye Yu and Ivy Soonthornsima as co-presidents of China; Paul Plowman, CEO of Australia; Radhika Shapoorjee, president of South Asia; and Sara Gourlay, COO of India. Alan Thompson will become CFO of APAC and Veronica Tan HR director of APAC.
All will report to Lines, who had served as president and COO of the Asia-Pacific region until a realignment in the summer of 2011 that saw the creation of a new region, called AMEASCA, which included South Asia, Central Asia, Australia and the Middle East and Africa. A further reorganization in February of this year saw China become a separate sub-region, reporting directly to Martin.
In a memo to staff, Martin listed two major reasons for the latest restructuring: “It harnesses the strength of our new leaders in the region…. Over the last two years I have created smaller centers in this region that has allowed a number of key people the opportunity to demonstrate leadership…. These new leaders will remain consistent and can move forward with clear expectations, accountability and a strong operational structure to work from….
“It builds upon and ties together strong teams from multiple countries, increasing collaboration. These offices will now have a common, shared structure to help them to work in a more collaborative way, with a regional Practice structure and an aligned new-business function, enabling more cross-selling and improving our ability to easily put together the best client teams.”
Lines, who is based in Singapore, will transition from his global practice head role to devote attention to APAC, but will retain his client services co-lead role. The global practice head role will be filled on a rotating basis annually from among H+K’s global practice leaders, beginning in 2014 with Joe Eyer, who is also the firm’s global public affairs practice co-leader.
“Communication needs in APAC are constantly evolving as companies and governments have to engage more concertedly and directly with the public and opinion leaders,” says Lines. “There is greater demand for sector specialization, as well as for channel experts in digital, research and content.”