Weber Shandwick announced several global and U.S. leadership appointments today that support the firm’s mission to create solutions that make an impact for its clients and teams around the world.
Effective in January 2020:
Chris Perry will expand his role from chief digital officer to chief innovation officer, continuing to push beyond the firm’s leading-edge efforts to embed innovation, data and technology at the core of the organization and managing the growing client-innovation infrastructure within the Weber Shandwick network.
Susan Howe becomes chief growth officer, a newly created position. Howe will continue to manage key client relationships, working across platforms and geographies to drive measurable outcomes. In addition, she will be responsible for driving client-centric strategic alignments across Weber Shandwick’s global regions. She was previously chief collaboration officer.
Sara Gavin, formerly president of the firm’s North America region, becomes chief client officer, overseeing the firm’s key client relationships and industry-leading client service model. She replaces Cathy Calhoun, who will take on a new role within IPG’s Constituency Management Group (CMG).
Abby Gold, formerly chief human resources officer, will continue to focus on talent as chief employee experience officer, ensuring the best possible experience for agency teams across the network.
Joy Farber Kolo replaces Gavin as president of North America while retaining oversight of the firm’s East operations (New York, Boston, Atlanta).
“Given all the forces at play for companies today – tech advances, stakeholder pressure, the hyperspeed of information, opinions from everywhere – our clients are living in a state of disequilibrium. The daily balancing and rebalancing act means our clients need more from us, so we made a commitment to tackle their toughest business challenges – in short, to solve. Our success in this endeavor requires a laser-like focus in several areas: constantly innovating our approach, predicting and addressing client needs, fostering talent and, of course, making the highest quality, most impactful work. These new positions – helmed by consummate leaders – will ensure we deliver on this ambition,” said Gail Heimann, president and CEO of Weber Shandwick.
Chris Perry, Chief Innovation Officer
As chief digital officer, Perry has played a pivotal role in embedding digital communications into the heart of the firm. He forged valuable and diverse partnerships with start-up companies and led the acquisitions of five specialist companies to evolve Weber Shandwick’s capabilities. He also spearheaded the company’s commitment to bringing data-led solutions to client problems consistently around the world. In his nearly 20-year tenure, Perry has built a deep bench of specialists – 1,000+ experts across creative technology, data and analytics, performance media, UX, business intelligence and media R&D.
Susan Howe, Chief Growth Officer
In her 23 years at Weber Shandwick, Howe has led some of the firm’s most significant client engagements and organizational changes. She drove several innovative workplace initiatives, including the introduction of Value Based Communities – a unique service model that organized the firm’s talent around the distinct value it brings to clients. Prior to her role as chief collaboration officer, Howe was head of the firm’s Global Consumer Marketing practice, where she built a powerful consumer marketing network and led high-profile client partnerships.
Sara Gavin, Chief Client Officer
As president of Weber Shandwick’s North America region since 2013, Gavin has overseen the strategic growth of the firm’s largest geographic network, comprised of 26 offices in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to sponsoring some of the firm’s largest client engagements, Gavin was a driving force behind an effort to bring deeper integration and collaboration to offices across North America. In the past three years, Gavin also led the development of the firm’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Leadership Working Group, made up of senior leaders across the region who are tasked with advancing DEI goals. Prior to her current role, Gavin led the firm’s Minneapolis office for over 15 years.
Abby Gold,Chief Employee Experience Officer
As chief human resources officer for Weber Shandwick and CMG, Gold has been instrumental in creating programs for work/life balance, performance management and learning & development. She leads the development, leadership and execution of a broad talent strategy for Weber Shandwick and CMG and is responsible for the expansion, execution and support of HR programs and policies, including: organization, training and development, talent planning and performance management, recruitment and the implementation of best practices around diversity and inclusion. Abby has been with Weber Shandwick since 1997.
Joy Farber Kolo, President of North America
Over the past 24 years, Farber Kolo has been a key driver of Weber Shandwick’s success across its U.S. East offices. She helped build the firm’s New York office, diversifying capabilities and talent and building new competencies and relationships pivotal to the firm’s growth and transformation. In 2014, Farber Kolo was named general manager of New York and in 2017, she became president of Weber Shandwick East, charged with oversight and integration of the New York, Boston and Atlanta offices.