SAN FRANCISCO--WCGC, the newly formed parent company of independent firm WCG, has lured Gary Grates from Edelman to join its senior leadership team.

Grates, who was president and global MD of Edelman's change and employee engagement practices, joins the healthcare firm to help build its global capabilities in such areas as change management, corporate positioning, employee engagement, M&A and labor management.

Prior to joining Edelman, Grates served as North America VP of corporate comms at General Motors, where he was responsible for brand, product, media, internal, financial and public policy communications. 

He brings more than 25 years of corporate, marketing/brand, labor and strategic communications experience with a particular expertise in change management/employee and internal communications. Before GM, Grates was president of GCI BoxenbaumGrates, a consultancy specializing in change management/internal communications and corporate positioning, and EVP and MD of GCI Consulting, a unit of GCI Group Public Relations responsible for managing the firm's global clients.

"Gary is a game-changing hire for WCG, as he brings tremendous experience and a stellar reputation as a thought leader, senior counselor and strategist who will work closely with me and the rest of our amazing team to help shape and guide the next phase of our evolution and growth," said WCGC chairman and CEO Jim Weiss. "He complements and enhances what our team offers today while bringing a valuable new set of skills and services that our clients are demanding today."