On the 67th anniversary of the firm’s founding by Daniel J. Edelman, Edelman today has named Matthew J. Harrington global president, effective immediately. Harrington, who will also retain his current title of global chief operating officer, becomes only the third president in the history of the firm. He will continue to report to Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman. (Dan Edelman and Richard Edelman previously held the title of president.)
“Matthew is the ultimate professional and has been one of my most trusted partners for the last three decades,” said Edelman. “He epitomizes what the Edelman brand represents. Matthew is client-centric and deeply committed to excellence. He has a spirit of optimism and integrity that shines through and is committed to ensuring that our clients and our firm positively impact society.”
In his new role, Harrington will now oversee Edelman’s Digital practice and Advisory offering as well as continue to shepherd the firm’s four operating regions and oversee talent and the Client Portfolio Management Committee. The Digital practice has been the growth engine for the firm for the past decade and has done award-winning work for clients including Samsung and Adobe. Edelman’s Advisory offering is a key pillar of the firm’s transformation and has enabled Edelman to greatly expand its consultancy services.
“I’m incredibly honored by the continued trust, confidence and partnership Richard has given to me over my career,” said Harrington. “To follow in Dan and Richard’s footsteps is exceptionally humbling. My commitment is to ensure that we effectively advance our strategy across the network, deliver best-in-class thinking and campaigns to our clients and attract and keep the best talent in the industry.”
Harrington, who started his career at Edelman 35 years ago, is a specialist in corporate positioning and reputation management, with expertise in crisis communications, merger and acquisition activity, and initial public offerings. He counsels many of the firm’s largest clients including Samsung, Charles Schwab, Microsoft and Nissan. In 2005, Harrington led Edelman's firm-wide initiative to introduce a code of conduct, a first among PR firms. Harrington was awarded the Silver Anvil for Crisis Communications from the Public Relations Society of America for his work on Odwalla. This program also received the Silver Anvil for "Best Communications Program for 1996" and the International Public Relations Association's Golden Award.
Prior to being named Edelman’s global chief operating officer in 2012, Harrington served as president and CEO of Edelman U.S. for four years. Under his leadership, the firm’s U.S. operation became the largest communications agency in the U.S. During that period, Edelman U.S. was also named agency of the year a number of times by various publications. The growth of the U.S. also played a vital role in helping propel Edelman to become the industry’s largest global agency. Before that he was president of the Eastern region overseeing Edelman's New York and Atlanta offices. Harrington also served as president of the Western region for Edelman early in his career.
In 2019, Harrington was named a mentoring honoree by the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations. He served as chair of the PR Council from 2016 to 2019. He is a graduate of Denison University, where he serves on the Board of Trustees. He is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and is a board member of the Classic Stage Company.
Edelman is a global communications firm that partners with businesses and organizations to evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations. Our 6,000 people in more than 60 offices deliver communications strategies that give our clients the confidence to lead and act with certainty, earning the trust of their stakeholders. Our honors include the Cannes Lions Grand Prix for PR; Advertising Age’s 2019 A-List; the Holmes Report’s 2018 Global Digital Agency of the Year; and, five times, Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work. Since our founding in 1952, we have remained an independent, family-run business. Edelman owns specialty companies Edelman Intelligence (research) and United Entertainment Group (entertainment, sports, lifestyle).