Jack Leslie is planning to step down as Weber Shandwick’s chairman in March 2022 after more than two decades in the role.
Leslie will stay on as a senior adviser, counseling the agency and its clients on corporate reputation, social impact and public policy. Gail Heimann remains as CEO of Weber Shandwick and Andy Polansky will continue as executive chairman of Weber Shandwick and chairman and CEO of IPG Dxtra, Weber’s parent company.
Leslie has held the role of chairman at Weber Shandwick for more than 20 years since the merger of Bozell Sawyer Miller Group and Weber Shandwick in 2001.
Leslie was president of Sawyer Miller, a political consulting firm, where he advised dozens of presidential and statewide campaigns in the U.S., Latin America, Asia and Africa. He was a close adviser to former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos during both his presidential campaigns and the long peace process in the country.
Earlier in his career, Leslie was a political director for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) in the 1980s.
In June, Weber named Susan Howe as president. Heimann had served as president and CEO since 2019 when former Weber chief executive Andy Polansky was promoted to chairman and CEO of the Interpublic unit now known as Dxtra. Heimann had served as Weber’s president since 2013.
Weber’s revenue was down 4% last year to $831 million globally and decreased 4% in the U.S. to $495 million, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report 2021.