BUDAPEST--Edelman has lured CEE specialist Chris Dobson away from Grayling to take on a leadership role within the firm’s EMEA operation.

Dobson is currently MD of Central and Eastern Europe, Southeastern Europe and Eurasia at Grayling, after becoming part of the firm due to its merger with Mmd. He joined Mmd in 1999 to head its Hungarian office, before taking on regional duties in 2004, and spending two years in Russia. He will remain based in Budapest.

At Edelman he becomes head of emerging and strategic markets, reporting to EMEA CEO Robert Phillips. He is the second senior Grayling executive from the CEE region to join Edelman in a month, after Eurasia MD Stephen Lock left for Edelman Indonesia.

“Emerging markets remain a huge opportunity for Edelman - not least in central and eastern Europe; in Turkey; across Africa; and in the Middle East,” said Phillips. “We already have some really successful businesses in many of these markets and Chris will be responsible for driving business penetration and heightening connectivity and opportunity across geographies.”

“We wish Chris well and appreciate that after 12 years living and working in Central and Eastern Europe he wants to make a change,” Grayling global CEO Michael Murphy told the Holmes Report. “One of the distinguishing features of our growing global network is our pre-eminent presence in CEE and Eurasia and we plan to continue to build and invest in it.”

Dobson is the third senior appointment since Phillips took charge of Edelman EMEA at the start of this year. Last week, the Holmes Report revealed that the firm had named Shell comms chief Bjorn Edlund as European chairman; earlier this year, the firm hired Christopher Ginisty as deputy MD of technology, digital and business development.