Edelman has named Michelle Hutton global chair of the firm’s Consumer Marketing practice, effective immediately.
Hutton, currently chief executive officer of Edelman Australia, will lead the firm’s largest practice, which encompasses over 1,000 employees worldwide. Hutton will transfer to the firm’s London office. Tim Riches, currently managing director of Designworks in Australia, will succeed Hutton as chief executive officer of Edelman Australia in late November. Matthew Gain, currently general manager of Edelman Sydney, has been appointed chief operating officer of Edelman Australia.
“With the new and emerging paradigm of communications marketing – communications has to be a full partner with marketing with the principles of evolving, promoting and protecting brands, businesses and their reputations,” said Hutton. “We want to elevate the role of PR to CMOs and gain share from creative, digital and media agencies. We were founded on creative, ground-breaking consumer work by Dan Edelman, and I am privileged to have the opportunity to continue evolving our consumer brand work.”
Under Hutton’s leadership, the Australian operation more than tripled in size and significantly increased its staff numbers, resulting in both the Melbourne and Sydney offices relocating to larger premises. Hutton has been a driving force behind Edelman’s integrated offer. In 2012, she led the acquisition and integration of digital agency, Design Royale, making digital a core focus of the offering in Australia. This has resulted in digital revenues accounting for more than 30 percent of Australia’s total revenue in FY2014.
“I was attracted by Edelman’s blend of global scale, entrepreneurial culture and willingness to invest in people outside its own comfort zones,” said Riches. “As an independent firm, there are no boundaries to what Edelman can do and be to expand the definition of PR. Agencies that have their roots in real time human conversations have a home ground advantage. I see my role as building on this capability with my experience in the long wavelength stories of brands; joining up strategic, tactical and responsive thinking; championing the role of evidence and insights to drive effectiveness; and helping stretch the boundary of the firm’s creative capability.”
Riches led the growth of FutureBrand for nearly 12 years in various regional and national leadership positions across Singapore and Australia. Prior to his current role at Designworks, Riches was managing director at respected research and strategy boutique The Leading Edge, where he led the Australian business. Riches has also served as a judge for Service Design at the 2014 Good Design Awards, and as adjunct professor to the Faculty of Design at Swinburne University.
Gain’s promotion to COO follows his appointment as general manager of the Sydney office one year ago.