Bob Pickard named CEO Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacific
25 January, 2010
Industry Veteran with Track Record of Success in Asia-Pacific Region will lead Growing OperationNEW YORK
— Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications consultancy, today announced that it has appointed public relations industry veteran Bob Pickard as President and Chief Executive Officer, Asia-Pacific, effective February 1st reporting to Burson-Marsteller Global CEO Mark Penn. Pickard was most recently President of North Asia for Edelman, leading its Korea and Japan operations.
Pickard succeeds current Asia-Pacific CEO Simon Pangrazio, who had advised the firm he will be leaving on February 26th to take up another professional opportunity. Pickard and Pangrazio will work closely during this period for a seamless hand-over of responsibilities.
Pickard is an international public relations executive with two decades of experience focused on providing communications counsel for senior business leaders. He was the co-founder and leader of successful award- winning PR consultancies in the United States, Japan, Korea and Canada. An experienced crisis communications practitioner, Pickard has provided senior counsel on a wide range of communications issues to clients including AstraZeneca, British Airways, De Beers, EMC, GlaxoSmithKline, ING, Johnson & Johnson, Kia Motors, Merck, Microsoft, Nissan, Nomura and Pfizer.
“Bob’s track record of success – both in Asia and during the course of his career – is remarkable,” said Mark Penn. “Bob is a proven leader as well as a world-class client counselor. He will join a growing operation that I am sure will benefit from his experience.”
“I thank Simon Pangrazio for his significant contribution to the firm over the past 13 years and particularly for the last two years when as Regional CEO he helped B-M to grow our Asia-Pacific operations, even during the recent global economic downturn,” Penn said.
Pickard will lead a 19-office regional operation spanning seven countries and employing more than 500 professionals. The firm also has 11 affiliate offices across eight countries in the region.
“Burson-Marsteller is widely respected for setting the highest standards of public relations achievement in Asia-Pacific since its pioneering presence in the region began almost 40 years ago,” said Pickard. “I know the team I will be working with is extraordinarily talented and we will be focused on applying the firm’s unrivaled experience to the task of helping our clients build their businesses through a relentless focus on excellence in communications.”
Pickard first came to Asia after a successful 15 year career in North American public relations. After joining Edelman as Managing Director for Korea in 2002, he led the office to record growth and the operation was named “Consultancy of the Year” at the Asia-Pacific PR Awards in 2004. In 2005, Pickard led Edelman’s successful entry into the Japanese market, establishing the firm’s Tokyo office, which grew to almost 30 people during the new operation’s first two years.
Prior to joining Edelman, Pickard was Executive Vice President of Environics Communications, a leading Canadian PR firm which he co-founded in 1994. In 1996, he opened the firm’s New York-area office and in doing so, established the first Canadian-owned PR agency in the U.S. market. Before then, Pickard was a Vice President at Hill & Knowlton Canada, where he led the firm’s technology practice.
Prior to working in the public relations industry, Pickard was active in public affairs and served as a political aide to several Canadian federal Cabinet ministers, including the country’s 16th Prime Minister.
A member of the Canadian delegation to the United Nations Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro Brazil in 1992, Pickard has a long record of involvement in sustainability issues and has been a speaker on corporate social responsibility in Asia at APEC, Economist Intelligence Unit, and World Economic Forum conferences.
A graduate of Canada’s Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies, Bob frequently delivers campus lectures and provides thought leadership commentary on public relations industry topics such as digital storytelling, apology communications, social networks, and the psychology of persuasion. He is a social media enthusiast and maintains his own blog: www.bobpickard.com
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), established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and communications firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, advertising and web-related services. The firm’s seamless worldwide network consists of 72 offices and 65 affiliate offices, together operating in 90 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Brands, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), one of the world’s leading communications services networks.