Darren Burns, former APAC vice chair at Weber Shandwick, has moved to Golin as APAC regional president. Burns returns to Golin after a six-year stint there as Taiwan managing director, from 2000 to 2006.
Burns was at Weber Shandwick for 14 years and spent many of those in China as president and APAC chair of creativity and innovation. At the start of last year, he moved to Singapore as APAC vice chair where he oversaw the firm's creative, innovation and data intelligence agenda as well as the business development function.
In his new role, Burns will drive new products and services for clients and create new revenue opportunities for the agency, focused on key offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.
"A progressive PR agency like Golin invests in innovations that not only impress but elevate ROI for its clients," said Burns. "I'm excited to partner with Golin's global and Asia-based leadership teams to continue the trajectory of measurable problem solving, but do so in a way that will operationalise the unique offerings across the region."
The position at Golin had been open since global co-CEO Jonathan Hughes left last year. From his Hong Kong base, Hughes had previously led APAC for seven years before moving to London to take on the global co-CEO role. In December last year, Hughes left the agency and Matt Neale was named sole global CEO.
Golin APAC recorded an estimated 8% spike in revenue last year to reach US$22.48 million, according to PRWeek’s Top Consultancy 2020 league. Last week, PRWeek reported that Golin instituted staff lay-offs amid the challenges of COVID-19; under 25 staff worldwide were let go.
Meanwhile, Weber Shandwick’s regional chair for client services, Vanessa Ho Nikolovski, will take on Burns’ responsibilities and will lead the new business function within the region. APAC CEO Baxter Jolly will oversee analytics and marketing. Incidentally, Jolly was recently named PRWeek Global Awards’ APAC PR Professional of the Year.
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