Ed Williams, currently Director of Communications at the BBC, has agreed to join Edelman as Chief Executive Officer of Edelman’s UK business.
Williams will leave the BBC in early October and will join Edelman officially on Monday 31 October. He will report to Edelman’s EMEA CEO, Robert Phillips, and will join the Edelman EMEA Leadership Team.
Commenting on the appointment, Phillips said: ‘We are absolutely delighted that Ed has agreed to join Edelman. He brings with him not only a wealth of talent in the news and entertainment and the content and digital spaces, but also an outstanding and probably unrivalled track record in Crisis & Issues management. Ed is one of the most respected corporate counselors in the UK today and his most recent role at the BBC makes him uniquely placed to understand the pressures of a multiple stakeholder society – from business to politics. On a personal level, I am really looking forward to Ed bringing fresh and challenging perspectives and ideas to our business. Edelman has made great strides in the UK in recent years; Ed’s appointment will take us to the next level. He is a major global player, as well as a UK leader, and will contribute hugely to our firm and our clients on this basis”.
Williams joined the BBC as Director of Communications in early 2008 where he has led the group communications division and acted as a senior adviser to the Director-General during a number of significant moments, including the Licence Fee settlement. Prior to the BBC, Williams was Director of Communications at Reuters working to the CEO, Thomas Glocer. He led Reuters communications during the deal with the Thomson Corporation. He spent five years at Brunswick as a Director, specializing in corporate advisory and campaigns. He was a pro bono adviser to the International Crisis Group and to General Wesley Clark during the Milosevic trial, and has worked as a political speechwriter. He started his career in journalism at London News Service and spent four years at GMTV where he was News Editor.
Williams said: “It has been a great privilege to serve Mark Thompson and the BBC, one of the world’s greatest and most valuable cultural institutions. Despite the daily rough and tumble in the press, I am pleased that over the past few years public support and approval for the BBC has reached historic highs. Like the BBC, Edelman’s competitive advantage is creativity and brainpower. I am really looking forward to working alongside some of the smartest people in the industry, advising Britain’s best known companies, and helping to grow the UK business.”
Since Phillips became EMEA CEO of Edelman earlier this year, Susan Eastoe, Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer of the UK company, has been Acting Chief Executive. Eastoe will be responsible for the transition to Williams’ leadership and will be assuming an expanded role within the EMEA Leadership Team in early 2012, as well as continuing to serve on Edelman’s Global Strategy Committee.
Edelman is the world’s largest independent public relations firm, with wholly owned offices in 54 cities and 4,000 employees worldwide. Edelman was named Advertising Age’s top-ranked PR firm of the decade and one of its “2010 A-List Agencies” and “2010 Best Places to Work;” PRWeek’s “2011 Large PR Agency of the Year;” European Excellence Awards’ “2010 Agency of the Year;” Holmes Report’s “Agency of the Decade” and “2009 Asia Pacific Consultancy of the Year;” and among Glassdoor’s top five “2011 Best Places to Work.” In the UK, Edelman is PR Week Agency of the Year 2009; a Gold Award winner in 2010 and a multiple Sabre winner. It is also ranked in the Sunday Times 100 Best Paces to Work.Edelman is EMEA Digital Consultancy of the Year 2011. Edelman owns specialty firms Blue (advertising), StrategyOne (research), Ruth (integrated marketing), DJE Science (medical education/publishing and science communications), and MATTER (sports, sponsorship, and entertainment). Visit http://www.edelman.com or www.edelman.co.uk for more information.
For more information contact: