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Burson Names Kelli Parsons as New Global CEO of Hill & Knowlton, the latter to operate as a full service firm within Burson

Credit: Kelli Parsons, New Global CEO-Hill and Knowlton

NEW YORK, June 4, 2024 – Hill & Knowlton and BCW, which will merge as of July 1, 2024, to form Burson, today announced the appointment of Kelli Parsons as Global CEO of Hill & Knowlton, which will operate as a full-service global firm within the Burson group of brands. 

Effective July 1st, Parsons will succeed AnnaMaria DeSalva, who has led Hill & Knowlton as global chairman and CEO since June 2019 and will become global chairman, Burson, as previously announced.Hill & Knowlton will operate as a full-service global firm within the Burson group.

“Hill & Knowlton has played a seminal role in our industry since its inception, and our team has pursued a period of rigorous development over the last several years,” said DeSalva. 

"We are thrilled that H&K will continue to grow its central role in strategic communication as part of Burson, and that Kelli Parsons will lead the firm going forward. I am proud to advance this leadership transition, and I look forward to continuing to work with Kelli and to supporting Hill & Knowlton’s future success in my new role.”

“Hill & Knowlton brings exceptionally complementary expertise and brand equity to the flagship Burson and will serve as a powerful offering alongside Axicom, Buchanan Communications and GCI Health in our group of brands, which together offer clients world-class expertise across every global industry and sector,” said Corey duBrowa, Global CEO, BCW, who will become Global CEO, Burson, upon completion of the merger. 

"H&K’s expert strategic counsel and focus on the business impact of reputation creates significant value for clients, and I look forward to its continued success under Kelli’s leadership.”  

Parsons noted, “I’m honoured to lead my exceptional colleagues in earning our client's trust as a strategic and creative partner. A former CCMO, I understand the imperative to create value for the business and its stakeholders amid myriad expectations in a dynamic operating environment.” 

Parsons brings 30 years of experience in journalism, agency and corporate leadership to her role. Previously, Parsons served as chief communication and marketing officer for Fortune 50 companies, where she focused on developing multi-stakeholder communication strategies to build trust during large-scale transformations. Earlier, she led H&K’s New York and Washington, D.C. markets, its corporate and technology practices, and its largest global client relationship. 

She serves as chair of the board of trustees of Page and as a trustee of the Institute for Public Relations.

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