NEW YORK — Citizen Relations global CEO Jim Joseph has stepped down after less than a year to return to Burson Cohn & Wolfe, the Holmes Report can reveal.

Joseph, who became Citizen's global CEO in June 2017, previously spent five years at Cohn & Wolfe. Since his departure last year, the fast-growing WPP firm has merged with Burson-Marsteller to become Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW).

At BCW, Joseph takes on a newly-created global role as global president of brand solutions. Reporting once again to BCW CEO Donna Imperato, Joseph is tasked with providing global oversight across areas including creative, branding and new business. 

"He’s a great partner, well liked and respected among many at BCW and I see this as a real coup for the future of BCW," said Imperato.

Citizen Relations' senior executives did not hide their disappointment with Joseph's decision. "Jim was just getting started at Citizen and we anticipated big things from him,"said Brett Marchand, CEO of Citizen parent group Vision 7. "But the team at Citizen is exceptionally strong and we have no doubt the agency will continue its positive momentum."

Daryl McCullough, Citizen’s global chairman and former CEO, will step back in to lead the firm's business globally. Marchand noted that the company will "take the proper time" to decide on whether to replace the global CEO role.

"With Nick Cowling and Mark Cater leading our North America and our international regions respectively, we have an extremely strong executive team and leadership, who along with an incredibly talented group of Citizens around the globe, will continue to do extraordinary things," said McCullough. "While we’re sorry to see Jim leave, there are hundreds of people at our agency that make us special."

Joseph joined Cohn & Wolfe in 2012, eventually serving as Americas president before taking on the worldwide president position months before his departure last year. 

"BCW is the most exciting new entity to emerge in the world of communications and I am thrilled to be part of it," said Joseph. "I am energized and ready to work with BCW’s talented leaders and teams around the world to break ground and firmly establish the agency as the first, truly global and unprecedented leader in integrated brand communications."