SINGAPORE—Burson-Marsteller has appointed Asian public relations industry veteran Bob Pickard as president and chief executive officer, Asia-Pacific, reporting to Burson-Marsteller global CEO Mark Penn. Pickard was most recently president of North Asia for Edelman, leading its Korea and Japan operations.
Pickard succeeds current Asia-Pacific CEO Simon Pangrazio, who will be leaving at the end of February to take up another professional opportunity. Pickard and Pangrazio will work closely during the transition to ensure a seamless hand-over of responsibilities.
Pickard has two decades of experience in the United States, Japan, Korea and Canada. An experienced crisis communications practitioner and has provided senior counsel on a wide range of communications issues to clients including AstraZeneca, British Airways, De Beers, EMC, GlaxoSmithKline, ING, Johnson & Johnson, Kia Motors, Merck, Microsoft, Nissan, Nomura and Pfizer.
Pickard first came to Asia after a 15 -year career in North America as a vice president at Hill & Knowlton Canada, where he led the firm’s technology practice, and later as executive vice president of Environics Communications, a leading Canadian PR firm which he co-founded in 1994. In 1996, he opened the firm’s New York-area office and in doing so, established the first Canadian-owned PR agency in the U.S. market.
After joining Edelman as managing director for Korea in 2002, he led the office to record growth and the operation was named Consultancy of the Year at the Asia-Pacific PR Awards in 2004. In 2005, Pickard led Edelman’s successful entry into the Japanese market, establishing the firm’s Tokyo office, which grew to almost 30 people during the new operation’s first two years.
In his new role, he will lead a 19-office regional operation spanning seven countries and employing more than 500 professionals.