Heritage PR and marketing firm Edelman has named Matthew J Harrington its global president, on the 67th anniversary of the firm’s founding by Daniel J Edelman. Harrington, who will also retain his current title of global chief operating officer, becomes only the third president in the history of the firm and the first not named Edelman – Dan Edelman and Richard Edelman previously held the title. Harrington will continue to report to Richard Edelman, chief executive of Edelman.
“Matthew is the ultimate professional and has been one of my most trusted partners for the last three decades,” said Richard Edelman. “He epitomizes what the Edelman brand represents. Matthew is client-centric and deeply committed to excellence. He has a spirit of optimism and integrity that shines through and is committed to ensuring that our clients and our firm positively impact society.”
In his new role, Harrington will now oversee Edelman’s digital practice and advisory offering as well as continue to shepherd the firm’s four operating regions and oversee talent and the Client Portfolio Management Committee. The digital practice has been the growth engine for the firm for the past decade and includes work for clients Samsung and Adobe. Edelman’s advisory offering has enabled Edelman to greatly expand its consultancy services.
“I’m incredibly honored by the continued trust, confidence and partnership Richard has given to me over my career,” said Harrington. “To follow in Dan and Richard’s footsteps is exceptionally humbling. My commitment is to ensure that we effectively advance our strategy across the network, deliver best-in-class thinking and campaigns to our clients and attract and keep the best talent in the industry.”
Harrington, who started his career at Edelman 35 years ago, is a specialist in corporate positioning and reputation management, with expertise in crisis communications, merger and acquisition activity, and initial public offerings. He counsels many of the firm’s largest clients including Samsung, Charles Schwab, Microsoft and Nissan. In 2005, Harrington led Edelman's firm-wide initiative to introduce a code of conduct, a first among PR firms. Harrington was awarded the Silver Anvil for Crisis Communications from the Public Relations Society of America for his work on Odwalla.
Prior to being named Edelman’s global chief operating officer in 2012, Harrington served as president and chief executive of Edelman US for four years. Under his leadership, the firm’s US operation became the largest communications agency in the country. The growth of the US also played a vital role in helping propel Edelman to become the industry’s largest global agency. Before that he was president of the Eastern region overseeing Edelman's New York and Atlanta offices.
Richard Edelman will remain global chief executive officer and continue to maintain oversight of the global client relationship program, creative, practices, UEG and the company’s data and analytics offering while setting the strategy for the firm.