NEW YORK—A year after stepping down as president and chief executive officer of Burson-Marsteller’s Asia-Pacific operations and taking on a new role as chairman of Asia Pacific and the company’s vice chairman for global development, Bill Rylance is leaving the firm.
Rylance initially joined Burson-Marsteller in London in 1982 and in 1986, was assigned to Korea to lead the company's worldwide public relations program for the 1988 Seoul Olympics, providing counsel to the Organizing Committee President, senior IOC officials, and major Olympic sponsors. After the Olympics, he left to form his own Korean public relations firm, Merit Communcations. In 1999, he rejoined the firm and was named president and CEO of Burson-Marsteller Asia Pacific.
According to chief executive Mark Penn: "Bill made many important contributions to Burson-Marsteller. He brought a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit into our firm, leading the Asia Pacific Region to a new era of growth with entry into important new markets, winning exciting client assignments and achieving industry-leading professional recognition."
“It's been a difficult decision for me to take,” says Rylance. “I've worked with B-M for 15 years in total—nine this time around—and I have a strong attachment to the firm and to [founder] Harold [Burson] in particular. That said, I believe this era of global upheaval presents opportunities to innovate and I'm incubating some ideas and initiatives that I think are timely and highly relevant.”