Edelman U.S. President-CEO Mark Hass to Step Down

Mr. Hass Said Move is Part of Firm's Ongoing Conversation About Succession

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Mark Hass
Mark Hass

Edelman U.S. President and CEO Mark Hass is leaving the independent PR giant in July, the agency told Ad Age. New York lead and Edelman vet Russell Dubner will replace him.

Mr. Hass said the timing of his departure is tied to Edelman's fiscal year, which ends in July, as well as the shop's "succession plan." "There's an ongoing conversation here about who's next in what spot," he said.

Mr. Hass has been in the lead U.S. role for two years and prior to that he was president of Edelman China. Before joining Edelman five years ago, he served as CEO of Publicis Groupe PR shop MSLGroup. Earlier in his career, he started his own shop and worked as an editor at various local papers.

At Edelman, he recently spearheaded an initiative to build newsrooms across offices.

He's staying on to help transition the leadership of the newsrooms, among other things, he said.

After that, he'll pursue a career in the startup and VC space. "There's a lot going on in the marketplace now that I'm really interested in," he said. "I want to be a part of that. It became obvious to me in the last six months, when we were vetting a couple dozen startups to be partners in the creative newsroom."

Russell Dubner
Russell Dubner

Mr. Dubner has run the New York office, which now touts about 800 people, since 2008. But he's been with the shop for over 20 years. Prior to running New York, he spent a few years in the firm's London office and led the firm's global relationships with Samsung and Bombardier before becoming managing director of Edelman's corporate and public affairs division in New York. Outside of Edelman, he co-founded RipDigital, a digital music service that converts music CDs into music files, and remained on its board until the company was sold in 2005.

This fiscal year, ending in July, Mr. Dubner is on track to grow the New York office 19% to $139 million, said Matthew Harrington, global chief operating officer at Edelman. Moving forward, he'll be responsible for the U.S. offices, representing $450 million in revenue.

"Russell has powered forward the integration of digital into every practice area into the building," said Mr. Harrington. "New York is a petri dish of innovation for what's possible [across offices]."

Mr. Dubner will report to Mr. Harrington.

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