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Global innovation and intelligence leadership named for Burson

BCW and Hill & Knowlton, which will merge as of July 1, 2024 to form Burson, today announced leadership across its innovation, digital, intelligence and technology functions. Together, these leaders will develop and deliver unique and proprietary solutions for the complex challenges facing clients today.

“Artificial intelligence and new digital technologies are having a seismic effect on the communications business,” said Corey duBrowa, Global CEO, BCW, who will retain the same role with Burson. 

“We are driving clear, higher-order value for our clients through the creation of tools such as Decipher and Sonar to both predict and blunt weaponized information and to build and test messages informed by the precision of data and predictive analytics."

“We are committed to using AI and other emerging technologies to define and deliver the most innovative communication solutions in the industry to solve our clients’ greatest challenges,” duBrowa added. “This is the right team to lead this approach, which is core to our principle of reputation as the differentiating characteristic for our clients in the marketplace.”

Appointments include:

  1. Chad Latz, currently Global Chief Innovation Officer with BCW, will retain that title with Burson. He will be responsible for leading Burson’s ongoing innovation efforts and product development where AI-first solutions, mapped to client and market needs, are created and perfected. Latz is also responsible for continuing to build and manage a team of AI-focused practitioners and partners across data, technology and academia.
  2. Grant Toups, currently Global Chief Technology Officer at Hill & Knowlton, will become Global Chief Digital and Intelligence Officer, Burson, responsible for operationalizing and scaling the delivery of digital-first client solutions. He will guide a global team deploying a suite of offerings including digital/social communications, reputation enhancement and defense, technology/AI advisory and advanced intelligence solutions.
  3. Chris Kief, currently Global Chief Technology Officer with BCW, will retain that title with Burson. He will lead enterprise technology strategy, including investments and licenses, deployments and governance of technology offerings. He will use his extensive development background to oversee engineering teams to accelerate product development.
“Today’s risk environment is substantially elevated, creating new demands for our clients who must keep pace with the disinformation threat, spot new conversations, and communicate effectively and in real time with an array of stakeholders,” said AnnaMaria DeSalva, chairman & CEO of Hill & Knowlton, who will become chairman of Burson.

“We are thrilled to bring together the leadership, investments, and body of work leveraging data science, AI and predictive analytics that will make Burson a leading provider of technology solutions and advice for the new era of reputation management and value creation."

Additional appointments will be announced throughout the integration process.

On January 25th, WPP announced it would merge its two largest communications agencies, BCW and Hill & Knowlton, to form Burson, a powerhouse delivering modern communications leadership at scale to clients across the world. The merged company will become an industry-leading, full-service communications agency focused on building and protecting reputation. Burson will be operational as of July 1, 2024.

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