LONDON — Weber Shandwick has handed EMEA leadership duties to Tim Sutton, the Holmes Report can reveal, extending the agency veteran's international leadership remit beyond his existing roles as EMEA and Asia-Pacific chairman.

Sutton will take on operational P&L responsibilities for EMEA from the start of 2018 onwards, overseeing a new strategic leadership board that supports his expanded portfolio.

The decision comes after a four-month search for a successor to Weber Shandwick EMEA and UK CEO Colin Byrne, who is stepping down at the end of this year, after more than two decades with the world's second-largest PR firm.

The strategic leadership board features:
·        Hugh Baillie – head of client service, engagement disciplines, EMEA
·        Rachel Friend – London MD 
·        Lucie Harper –  UK healthcare practice lead
·        Pete Jacob – new business development director (based in Dubai)
·        Jonas Palmqvist – deputy CEO and COO, Prime Weber Shandwick
·        Rachael Pay – EMEA healthcare practice lead
·        Christiane Schulz – president, Germany
·        Charlotte Witte - EVP, brand transformation EMEA

Byrne will remain with the firm until March 2018, supporting the transition to a new leadership team and focusing on strategic projects such as diversity initiatives, according to an internal memo from Weber Shandwick global CEO Andy Polansky.

"Tim brings more than 35 years of experience in the PR industry and has had previous direct experience of running our EMEA business very successfully," said Polansky. "During his eight years in Asia Pacific, his leadership was instrumental in helping us to triple our revenues in that region as well as establishing us as the clear reputational leader."

Sutton led Weber Shandwick and IPG's CMG unit in Asia-Pacific for an eight-year stint before becoming EMEA/Asia-Pacific chairman and returning to London in mid-2015. Prior to taking on the Asia-Pacific role in 2007, Sutton held similar responsibilities for many years for IPG in EMEA.

In addition, Polansky announced the formation of an EMEA operations board, which will be unveiled in Q4 of this year, "to reflect and represent all our key markets and market areas."

"Our current success as The Holmes Report’s EMEA Agency of the Year and the region's most award-winning agency is a great foundation to build on to take the business to the next level," adds Polansky. "While we are seeing some challenges stemming from the macroeconomic and geopolitical environment, we continue to see opportunities for the firm in many areas of our business."

Prior to his career with Weber Shandwick, Sutton was chairman of Orpheus Group and chairman of BSMG Worldwide’s European operations. Before that, he was CEO of UK PR firm Charles Barker.