BCW and Hill & Knowlton announce Burson leadership appointments

Hill & Knowlton and BCW, which will merge as of July 1, 2024, to form Burson, has announced new appointments across global functional roles, global practices and two specialty agencies. Additional leadership appointments will be announced throughout the integration process.“This is an exceptional group of leaders drawn from our two organizations, each of whom has considerable experience in building businesses and brands,” said Corey duBrowa, Global CEO, BCW. “Hill & Knowlton has a well-established and strong global practice structure in place which will be replicated at Burson, under the guidance of these chair appointments, to deliver clients access to the talent and services at the scale they need. I have great confidence in all of our colleagues to build a modern, full-service, technology-driven Burson focused on building and protecting reputation and grounded in the timeless values of our namesake.”Appointments include:Jerry Lombardo, currently Global Chief Financial Officer, BCW, becomes Global Chief Financial Officer, BursonAzurée Montoute-Lewis, currently Global Chief People Officer, Hill & Knowlton, becomes Global Chief People Officer, BursonBrooke Hovey, currently Global President, BCW, becomes Global Chief Strategy Officer, BursonSimon Shaw, currently Global Chief Creative Strategy & Innovation Officer, Hill & Knowlton, becomes Global Chief Creative Officer, BursonMichelle Hutton, currently Global Chief Client and Growth Officer, BCW, becomes Global Chief Client and Growth Officer, BursonRanda Stephan, currently Global Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Hill & Knowlton, becomes Global Chief Brand Officer, BursonBrenna Terry, currently Global Chair of Healthcare, Hill & Knowlton, becomes Global Chair of Healthcare, BursonSara Gourlay, currently Global Chair of Technology, Hill & Knowlton, becomes Global Chair of Technology, BursonSimon Whitehead, currently Global Chair of Energy & Industrials, Hill & Knowlton, becomes Global Chair of Energy & Industrials, Burson (in addition to his role as CEO, UK, Burson)Kristin Cahill continues as CEO, GCI GroupMatthew Lackie continues as CEO, AxiCom“As we bring our companies together, this group of leaders exemplifies a core premise behind the merger – that together we can draw on the industry's leading talent to create considerably more value for our clients and employees,” said AnnaMaria DeSalva, Chairman and CEO, Hill & Knowlton.“These functional, practice and agency leaders will enable the interdisciplinary solutions, global creative capability, and specialty counsel required by the world’s leading client organizations. We are enthusiastic about the progress reflected in this announcement and look forward to sharing more as our integration continues."On January 25th, WPP announced it would merge its two largest communications agencies, BCW and Hill & Knowlton, to form Burson, a powerhouse delivering modern communications leadership at scale to clients across the world. The merged company will become an industry-leading, full-service communications agency focused on building and protecting reputation. Burson will be operational as of July 1, 2024.

Hill & Knowlton unveils contemporary brand makeover

Hill & Knowlton, the global strategic communications leader for transformation, announced a comprehensive rebrand initiative that marks a return to its original name of Hill & Knowlton, reflecting the company’s near 100-year equity. The new brand features a refreshed visual identity, website and social presence and key innovation announcements that mark the next phase of Hill & Knowlton’s evolution as a strategic partner to today’s leading innovators."Since 2019, our leadership team has been focused on becoming the preeminent partner to help our clients drive growth, manage risk, and build reputation in today’s complex operating environment,” said AnnaMaria DeSalva, Global Chairman and CEO. “Our body of work increasingly demonstrates that strategic communication, elevated by creativity, is a primary force for sustainable value creation and modern leadership.”In response to the increasing demand for strategic communications solutions, Hill & Knowlton is introducing new services that directly address evolving client needs. As stakeholder strategies become increasingly interdependent and government continues to play a larger role in business, these innovations reflect the emerging corporate affairs paradigm that integrates brand building, corporate and public affairs to protect and grow enterprise value.H&K Advisory works at the intersection of corporate strategy and communication to create sustainable value for clients and their stakeholders. The group solves material challenges and opportunities that are a priority for executive leadership teams and governing boards. With more than 50 seasoned advisors, including several former Fortune 100 chief communicators, H&K Advisory delivers integrated strategic services spanning corporate, creative and public affairs consulting. The group deploys proprietary methods and tools including its reputation capital management and measurement system. As part of H&K Advisory, the company is also introducing:FutureSight, a combination of geopolitical, policy and communication advisors to help executives anticipate the impact of dynamic international political and regulatory environments on business and stakeholder strategy. Advisors are complemented by an external Geopolitical Advisory Pool of global experts drawn from academia and executive-level public service to ensure intelligence and planning that protects and grows value amid geopolitical change.Global Horizons, a capability focusing on the economies of the Global South spanning Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Gulf and reflecting today’s significant changes in trade flows. Hill & Knowlton’s substantial network across these regions, with strong integrated capabilities supporting both strategy and execution, enables the firm to play a meaningful role helping clients realize new opportunities for growth.Intelligence & Technology has been built to scale data science, analytics and communications technology solutions across Hill & Knowlton’s client portfolio. The company recently announced a related partnership with Pendulum Intelligence, an AI and machine learning platform, and the launch of H&K Sonar, a predictive risk identification tool powered by Pendulum, which helps clients combat reputational threats amid escalating disinformation attacks.These new capabilities are supported by a multi-year creative transformation effort to redefine the role of creativity in a modern communications company. The firm now offers a comprehensive network of Innovation & Creative hubs located strategically around the world. The hubs bring together creative, content, media and digital specialists to work alongside sector specialists, public and corporate affairs advisors and public relations experts.“We know the power of ideas builds brands and creates breakthroughs. What’s new is the scope and intensity of the creative process – it’s getting bigger, more profound and more interdisciplinary,” said DeSalva. “Business leaders need this powerful creative engine to help address today’s emerging risks. By every measure, global risk is intensifying and coming from a widening array of sources. Today’s risk domains in the areas of reputation, disinformation, and geopolitics demand focused intelligence, creativity and stakeholder-centricity – attributes that lie at the heart of the communications discipline. Risk and reinvention go hand in hand. It is this intersection of risk and opportunity, innovation and transformation that is visibly energizing Hill & Knowlton’s purpose today.”Hill & Knowlton's rebrand reflects its multi-year transformation, showcasing strong post-pandemic growth and strategic adaptability amidst the challenging macroeconomic landscape. Key leadership appointments have expanded Hill & Knowlton’s executive bench, forming a diverse leadership team of tenured agency leaders and dynamic new talent. Corporate development also has played a significant role in the company’s renewal. The acquisition of JeffreyGroup expanded Hill & Knowlton's presence in Latin America, making it the region's largest international public relations network. In parallel, the company launched Brazil-based Ideal company as an international brand, catering to disruptive and emerging technology companies. Finally, the 2023 acquisition of 3K strengthened the company’s healthcare footprint in Europe and extended its operations in Germany.The rebrand was designed as a collaborative effort that incorporated diverse and global perspectives from employees, alumni, clients and industry trade partners. The new visual identity telegraphs boldness, modernity and stature, paying homage to the company’s heritage while looking confidently towards its next era.“Hill & Knowlton is a category originator, born in 1927. I’ve learned through the years how much our company means to countless clients and alumni who have worked with us to shape their stories and successes at various points in their careers,” said DeSalva. “We hope our extended network of colleagues and friends will resonate with the vibrancy and inherent heritage of our renewed brand and with the aspiration it reflects for the future. We also intend that it will meaningfully enrich the experience of our employees, as they grow in their professional lives and change the world.”