Research and PR cosy up as Penn moves to Burson-Marsteller
NEW YORK - Mark Penn, one of the founders of leading opinion research company Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates has been appointed as worldwide chief executive of WPP Group public relations agency Burson-Marsteller.
Penn replaces outgoing CEO Thomas Nides, who recently joined Morgan Stanley as chief administrative officer.
Penn set up PSB with Mike Berland 30 years ago. In 2001, the agency was acquired by WPP and in four years it has tripled in size.
He will remain as president of PSB, which will become a stand-alone Burson-Marsteller company, while Berland takes on greater responsibility as chief executive of PSB.
Howard Paster, WPP executive vice-president for public relations, said called Penn's appointment was recognition of the close relationship between PR and the and measurement of public opinion.
Paster said: "Bringing Mark Penn into the public relations orbit has the promise of new thinking and new ways to serve client needs at the highest levels of management, and accords with Burson-Marsteller's long-time, leading-edge role.
"This comes at a time when result measurement is a prime consideration in undertaking public relations initiatives."
As Penn takes on the new role, Harry Burson, co-founder and former CEO of Burson-Marsteller, will continue in a non-management role as founding chairman.
During his time at PSB, Penn has worked for such clients as Ford, McDonald's, BP and Verizon on corporate reputation, corporate governance, corporate and brand positioning and litigation issues.
As well as leading PSB for 30 years, Penn was a strategic adviser to former President Bill Clinton from 1995 until the end of his administration in 2000.
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