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Edelman Russia Restructuring Continues With Imageland Closure

EMEA, Global

Phillips..."We're not leaving Russia"

Arun Sudhaman 12 Jul 2012

MOSCOW--Edelman is to shut its Russian subsidiary company, as the controversial restructuring of its business in the country gathers pace.

Edelman Imageland, which became part of the US agency via a 2008 acquisition, will close down over the next three to four months. Edelman CEO Robert Phillips said that “business continuity plans are in place to best serve the interests of Edelman clients.”

While Phillips declined to comment on specific details, it is understood that Edelman’s options include the launch of a new firm in Russia.

Edelman Imageland currently has 45 39 staff, after a round of layoffs saw 11 people depart the company last month. That decision, along with the overhaul of senior management at the agency, drew sharp criticism from a Russian trade union, and ex-employees.

The restructuring has so far seen Imageland founder Veronica Moihseeva move into a non-executive role. Kerry Irwin has taken charge of the firm, while Chris Dobson arrived from Grayling last year to oversee emerging markets in EMEA.

“We’ve done a strategic review and this is the first step in our reorganisation,” said Phillips. “The process starts with declaring an end to Edelman Imageland.”

The impact of the closure on current staffers remains unclear, but Phillips said that “there will be no impact on business continuity whatsoever.”

“The decision in no way impacts Edelman’s continued commitment to Russia and to servicing its local client base,” he added. “We’re definitely not leaving Russia.”

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