Edelman lays off several senior execs

CHICAGO: Edelman has let go of several senior level executives in its Chicago office since May, according to the agency.

CHICAGO: Edelman has let go of several senior level executives in its Chicago office since May, according to the agency.

Matthew Harrington, president/CEO of Edelman US, confirmed that four senior level executives were laid off, including Bill Keegan EVP & director of US crisis and issues management. The other departures included senior level executives with Edelman's consumer, technology, and healthcare practices in Chicago. At least one mid-level employee was also let go.

“This was not financially driven,” Harrington told PRWeek. “But in this environment, we have been doing an ongoing analysis of our staffing needs.”

He said that the office continues to employ around 500 people.

The departures coincided with the end of Edelman's fiscal year on June 30. In addition to the layoffs, Harrington said 20 other staffers have left the agency nationwide since April. Some of these departures were layoffs, but others left for other opportunities, Harrington said. He noted that the layoffs were not related to any specific client cutbacks.

But plans to replace those departures are tentative.

“We have been hiring as client work warrants and that is across the board as we have been winning business in consumer, corporate, and health,” Harrington explained. He said on average 25 people leave Edelman per quarter because of performance issues or for other opportunities.

"Our turnover is lower this year than last," he noted. "But we are not rehiring for those positions as aggressively."

Freda Colbourne, CEO of Edelman Canada, also departed from the company in June. The circumstances around her departure were unclear, though her LinkedIn profile now lists her as a communications consultant. Harrington said the agency plans to announce a new Canada CEO next week.

Richard Edelman, global CEO and president of Edelman, noted that Chicago revenues are stable and the agency's overall revenues remain flat against last year.

"The US workforce is pretty much stable and the revenues in Chicago are stable," he said.

Edelman said there are no more layoffs planned.

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