NEW YORK--Edelman has named Matthew Harrington to the newly-created role of  global COO, and has shifted China head Mark Hass to become its new US CEO.

28-year Edelman veteran Harrington, who has headed the agency‘s US operation since 2008, will now oversee the firm‘s four geographies – the US, EMEA, Asia-Pacific, and Canada/Latin America. He will serve as chairman of the firm‘s conflict management committee and will also take over management of Edelman‘s human resources, legal, and IT functions.

Harrington will report to Richard Edelman, president and CEO, who will continue to directly manage the firm‘s global practices and clients, diversified businesses, and finance operations. The new structure is intended to help manage the firm‘s future expansion after strong growth over recent years.

"The size of our firm has more than tripled over the last ten years, and with 60 offices across the globe, the time couldn‘t be more right to appoint a global COO to help ensure we‘re well-positioned globally for continued growth," said Edelman. "I've worked with Matt for 20 years. He is uniquely qualified to step into this role. And the family is entirely comfortable with him."

Edelman also told the Holmes Report that Harrington's promotion will give him more time to focus on the growth of second firm Zeno. He noted that acquisition is required to turn the agency into "more than a US operation."

Harrington will continue to work on key clients, including Starbucks, Charles Schwab and General Electric. "My first priority is to get to know the regions better. and partner with them on the strategy and budget for FY13," he told the Holmes Report. "It’s being about our people, our clients and about our culture. If I can get those three legs operating well, we’ll be well structured for our future."

Replacing Harrington as president and CEO of Edelman US is Mark Hass, who has led Edelman China for the past two years. Hass returns to the US after previously serving as CEO for MS&L for five years.

"To bring Mark back to the US is something I believe to be a very smart move," said Edelman. "With his global experience as CEO of MS&L Worldwide for five years, strong business acumen and focus on client service, I couldn‘t be more pleased to have Mark coming back to the US to manage our largest geography."

The firm has also hired former Coca-Cola comms chief Thomas Mattia as its new chair in China. Mattia, who most recently served as CCO at Yale University, will report directly to Asia-Pacific CEO David Brain, and will be based in Beijing. "Over time we will have a [new] China CEO," said Edelman. 

In 2011, Edelman‘s global revenue topped $614m, up from $531m in 2010. Edelman‘s US business grew to $383m in 2011, up from $349m the year prior. Over the past two years, meanwhile, its China business has increased to $17m from 9m.