I’m off to Asia-Pacific

After seven very happy years running Edelman’s business in EMEA, I am off to Asia-Pacific to do the same there. As you might expect I have mixed feelings about this. Over the last few years we have expanded rapidly in EMEA and I have some brilliant colleagues and great clients I will be sorry to leave. But I am very excited about returning to a part of the world I lived in for seven years (spot the pattern yet?) and which I love.

Here’s a video of me saying pretty much the same thing.

And here’s the press release:


— Alan VanderMolen as President and CEO, Global Practices and Diversified Insights Businesses —

— David Brain as President and CEO, Edelman Asia-Pacific —

August 24, 2010 (New York) – Edelman, the world’s largest independent public relations firm, announced today that Alan VanderMolen, president of Edelman Asia-Pacific since 2002, has been appointed to the newly-created role of president and CEO, Global Practices and Diversified Insights Businesses. David Brain will transition from his role as president and CEO of Edelman Europe, Middle East and Africa to take over leadership of Edelman Asia-Pacific. Both roles take effect January 1, 2011.

“Alan is well-suited to spearhead the development and integration of our global practices, specialty businesses, and intellectual property because he has operated successfully in key global markets and has been at the forefront of developing significant intellectual capital across the firm in the areas of stakeholder engagement, corporate trust, CSR, and social media,” said Richard Edelman, president and CEO, Edelman.

VanderMolen will lead the development of Edelman’s global practices (Consumer, Corporate, Health, Public Affairs, Crisis, Technology, Sustainability, and Employee Engagement), specialty research firm (StrategyOne), and consulting businesses (including First & 42nd) to deliver integrated communications solutions based on insights to clients across Edelman’s global network. He will also oversee the development of the firm’s intellectual property – which includes the Edelman Trust Barometer, goodpurpose™, and Health Engagement – to provide clients and employees with the industry’s foremost thinking and processes. Nancy Ruscheinski, president and Chief Operating Officer, Edelman US will continue to provide management oversight for the firm’s global digital practice.

VanderMolen, who is currently based in Hong Kong, is from Ohio and has worked in Washington D.C., New York, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Warsaw, and Brussels during the last 20 years. He will relocate to Chicago and continue to report to Richard Edelman.

Brain assumes leadership of Edelman’s Asia-Pacific network, which added offices in Bangalore, Delhi, Jakarta, Melbourne, Mumbai, and Tokyo and quadrupled in size under VanderMolen’s watch – from $11M in 2002 to more than $40M. Edelman is currently one of the region’s top three PR networks and was most recently named Holmes Report’s 2009 “Asia Pacific Consultancy of the Year.”

“Having experienced tremendous success in Europe – growing the business from 350 people and $45.5 million in revenue to 700 professionals and $100M in revenue in seven years, David is the ideal candidate to lead Edelman in Asia-Pacific,” said Edelman. “He will build on Alan’s progress and expand Edelman in the world’s fastest-growing markets by both supporting Western companies in Asia and Asian companies throughout our network.” Brain will relocate to the region, and Edelman is currently seeking his replacement to lead EMEA.

Brain knows the Asia-Pacific market well – having lived and worked there from 1992 to 1998 during which time he led Corporate Affairs for Visa International, was MD of regional independent PR firm Baldwin Boyle Shand, and served as group strategic planner at Batey Ads, then the region’s leading ad agency group and now part of WPP.

As president and CEO of Edelman EMEA, Brain identified and merged JCPR – the leading independent consumer PR firm in the UK – and Spook – a digital firm – to grow Edelman into the second largest full-service PR firm in the UK. In addition, he led acquisitions in Moscow, Paris, and Brussels as well as start-ups in Warsaw, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Berlin. He has led the acquisition and development of some of the firm’s largest clients worldwide including Shell and Mubadala. PRWeek UK lists Brain as one of the most influential voices in PR – citing his popular blog and co-authored book, “Crowd Surfing.”

# # #
About Edelman
Edelman is the world’s largest independent public relations firm, with 3,300 employees in 52 offices worldwide. Edelman was named Advertising Age’s top-ranked PR firm of the decade; Adweek’s “2009 Agency of the Year”; PRWeek’s “2009 Agency of the Year” and “UK Consultancy of the Year”; and Holmes Report’s “Agency of the Decade,” “2009 Best Large Agency to Work For” and “2009 Asia Pacific Consultancy of the Year.” Edelman owns specialty firms Blue (advertising), StrategyOne (research), BioScience Communications (medical education and publishing), and MATTER (sports and entertainment). Visit http://www.edelman.com for more information.

Categories Technology

14 thoughts on “I’m off to Asia-Pacific

  1. Brilliant move David. Right at the centre of the action.


  2. Now I can see why you couldn’t judge at Some Comms! All the best and it’s a shame we never got to do beers and talk music rubbish…


  3. Many congrats David! Does that mean we won;t be able to catch-up for that coffee? 😉

    Hope it all goes well; I’m sure it will.


  4. that was a bit more than 60 seconds but considering the news, well worth the extra 😉

    congrats – sounds like an amazing role for a great organization in a fascinating part of the world.


  5. Nice one, I am insanely jealous (^_^)


  6. Big congrats – what a fAbulous place to be – great time and presumably weather.
    You will wow them. K


  7. Many thanks to all of you. I am very much looking forward to it.


  8. Here’s an early welcome to Asia, David. Looking forward to meeting and working with you. Cheers


  9. Congratulations on your new role, David! Very much looking forward to working with you over here in Asia. Best, Perrine


  10. Since my first days reading this blog in college, I’ve learned so much from following your work in EMEA and can’t wait to follow your leadership with our teams in Asia.


  11. Catching up my reading & wham…what fabulous news. Of course, how ironic that just as I leave Asia to return EU/US you’ll be heading over…I may now reconsider given that an excellent professional is entering the region!!


  12. Hi Dvid,

    Congratulations, what a terrific job for you. I shall look forward to reading your blog posts from Asia.

    Very best wishes,



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