PRAGUE--Grayling has moved to fill its leadership vacuum in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), promoting Jan Simunek to oversee the region.

In addition, the agency has named Shirley Hanley-Ryder as its new head of Eurasia and Southeastern Europe (SEE).

The appointments follow the departures of senior executives Chris Dobson and Stephen Lock earlier this year. Dobson previously headed CEE, SEE and Eurasia, while Lock held a senior Eurasia role. Both left for positions at Edelman.

15-year Grayling veteran Simunek’s current remit will be extended from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria to also cover Poland, Hungary and the Baltics.

Hanley-Ryder, who joined Grayling at the start of 2010, will have additional responsibility for the firm's operations in Turkey, Ukraine, the CIS region, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia.

Prior to joining Grayling, Hanley-Ryder spent 20 years in London at the helm of QBO, one of the UK's largest independent PR firms before its sale to Chime in 2000 and eventual integration within Bell Pottinger.

“In Jan and Shirley we have two highly experienced communications consultants who are also wonderful motivators of people and strong business managers,” said Grayling CEO Michael Murphy in a statement. “Grayling has the pre-eminent network in CEE and Eurasia and I am confident that under their leadership we will grow and maintain our position in these markets.”