Two WPP PR firms are starting out 2013 by making changes at the top.
Ogilvy PR has promoted Robert Mathias to CEO of North America, Ad Age has learned. Meanwhile, the firm's managing director, Michael Law, is joining Burson-Marsteller as U.S. president.
Mr. Mathias has served as the president of Ogilvy Washington, which is the PR network's largest office. He will continue to oversee the office while serving in the newly-created CEO role. He will report to both Global CEO Chris Graves and Ogilvy & Mather Chairman-CEO of North America John Seifert.
"In so many ways, Ogilvy Washington has become a best practice for us worldwide --from being a top performer in client service and business growth to a top achiever in staff education and development," Mr. Graves said in a statement.
Mr. Mathias will focus on "uniting" the North American PR operations and will work closely with his counterparts at Ogilvy, according to a statement. He's clocked many years at the shop. Mr. Mathias joined Ogilvy PR in 1988, heading up the San Francisco office before moving to the East Coast to head the Washington office.
Because of Mr. Law's move to Burson-Marsteller, Nathan Friedman, managing director of the Ogilvy PR Chicago office, will step in as regional managing director, overseeing Ogilvy PR West. His expanded duties include oversight of operations in Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Denver, as well as Chicago until a replacement is announced. He is known for leading the firm's LG Electronics account.
The changes at Burson-Marsteller come after Don Baer replaced Mark Penn as CEO last summer. Racepoint Group's Bill Orr has also joined Burson-Marsteller in the new role of U.S. exec-VP. Based on the West Coast, he will focus on building the firm's capability in consumer technology, according to a person familiar with the matter.