Arun Sudhaman 12 Jan 2010 // 12:31PM GMT
Mark Hass’ arrival to head Edelman China is an interesting move in more ways than one. Hass, by all accounts, is well-respected within the industry, and his reputation actually appears to have been improved by his sudden departure from MS&L last year. More importantly, the hire should shake up a China market where top-tier talent has proven hard to infuse. There are some superb agency heads in the country, but few new faces in recent years. In getting a former global network CEO, Edelman may have pulled off a coup. Detractors, no doubt, will point to Hass’ lack of China experience. This should not be underplayed, but a move of this magnitude can only be good for the Chinese PR industry at large. The Hass story, I feel, is likely to be the first of several senior moves in Asia-Pacific this year. Markets are unfreezing rapidly, and there is pent-up demand for talent. I’m already hearing of a number of pretty interesting senior shifts that will take place over the next couple of months. A similar trend should also take place in more mature Western markets, albeit on a reduced scale. Already, we’ve seen the highly-rated Jonathan Jordan quit B-M UK to start his own shop. It’s been almost two years since the traditional talent game of musical chairs creaked to a halt. That, for better or worse, is a lifetime in PR terms.