LONDON—David Brain, who was join CEO of the U.K. operations of Weber Shandwick, has jumped to Edelman, where he will serve as president and chief executive officer of the firm’s European operations, replacing Alison Canning, who left the firm over the summer. Brain will be based in London and will report directly to worldwide chief executive officer Richard Edelman. He will also join the firm’s 11-member advisory board.
In his new role, Brain will be responsible for the growth and development of the firm’s second largest geographical region with 350 people with $45.5 million in revenue for fiscal year ended June 2003—21 percent of the firm’s global revenue. Clients in the region include AstraZeneca, Barilla, Microsoft, Novartis, Orange, Pfizer and Unilever, served from offices in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, London, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Paris and Stockholm.
“David’s unique blend of creativity, global experience, people skills, and his demonstrated commitment to clients will lead to a stronger Edelman Europe,” says Edelman. “His clear mandate is to grow our European operation through excellence in client service, growing existing clients, winning new clients, and expanding our capabilities through acquisitions.” He says Brain’s experience in the consumer marketing arena was particularly attractive, given the potential for growth in that sector as the recovery gathers momentum.
Brain, meanwhile, cited Edelman’s independence as one reason for his move.
“I am thrilled to be joining the only firm that is able to put client service above all else,” he says. “As the world’s only global independent firm, Edelman is setting the pace for our industry in thought leadership and the development of intellectual property. I’m looking forward to growing Edelman’s European operation, which is already among the top-tier players in the EU, by creating stronger integration with the rest of the network, delivering the highest standards of work, and winning new business.”
Hugh Gillanders, Edelman’s European chief operating officer, will work closely with Brain, concentrating on expanding client relationships across the region, strengthening the firm’s smaller European offices and developing the region’s strong affiliate network.
As joint CEO at Weber Shandwick since January 2001, Brain oversaw the merger of BSMG and Weber Shandwick, now the U.K.’s largest public relations firm and was a member of that agency’s eight-person global operating committee. Prior to Weber Shandwick, he was managing director and European marketing practice leader for Burson-Marsteller, where he represented clients including Ford, Unilever and Jim Beam.