Paul Holmes 06 Apr 2017 // 2:19PM GMT
LONDON—Burson-Marsteller has named Ramiro Prudencio—most recently head of its Latin America region—as chief executive officer of the firm’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region, replacing Jeremy Galbraith, who stepped down in March after 20 years with the firm. Francisco Carvalho, who had been CEO of Burson-Marsteller Brazil, succeeds Prudencio in Latin America.
Burson-Marsteller worldwide chair and CEO Don Baer praised Prudencio’s role as “a change agent” and his “experience building a multi-market region in Latin America, with 13 offices across 10 countries.” He will move from that role to one with 34 offices in 23 countries—but many similar challenges.
Both Prudencio and Carvalho will report to Kevin Bell, recently named worldwide president, who says Prudencio’s experience leading Latin America makes him “ideally placed” for his new role: “Both regions require the ability to manage across different cultures with different languages, and markets in different states of maturity.”
Burson has a strong presence in mature markets such as the UK, France, Germany and Brussels, a large network of offices in the Middle East, and what is almost certainly the most extensive network of affiliates in Africa. Prudencio takes the helm at a time when the region faces significant challenges, however, with the UK leaving the EU and right-wing populist parties on the rise in several major markets.
Bell says he expects to see growth in public affairs and crisis work, but also highlighted “a number of consumer wins in Europe and a vibrant healthcare sector” as areas of focus.
Prudencio joined Burson-Marsteller’s Washington, DC, office in 1990 after several years working in the US House of Representatives as a legislative aide. He later moved to Chile to open the firm’s Santiago office, followed by eight years as president of Burson-Marsteller Brazil in São Paulo, where he was succeeded by Carvalho when he moved to the US to lead the firm’s Miami market and co-lead its global key client relationship program.
He was named CEO of Burson-Marsteller Latin America in 2011, since which time the firm has twice been named Latin American Agency of the Year (2013 and 2015) by this publication.
Carvalho has served two stints with Burson-Marsteller, currently leading the firm’s São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília offices since 2005. He spearheaded the rollout of Burson-Marsteller’s integrated planning process in the region and has overseen the development of a robust data and analytics offer in the market.
Before rejoining Burson-Marsteller, Carvalho was corporate communications director for GTECH and at McDonald’s. Earlier in his career, he was corporate communications director of Young & Rubicam and MPM/Lintas, and a manager at Burson-Marsteller Brazil. He began his career as a journalist.
Prudencio says the firm’s Latin American network—the largest of any of the global agencies—is faring well: the Brazilian market has stabilized after two years of political and economic turmoil; Mexico is strong—with demand for corporate and public affairs advice as the market comes to terms with the Trump presidency; Colombia is reaping the dividends of a recent peace accord; and other markets are benefiting from strength in the extractives sector.