Phillips: “Let’s make things better”
Three years after Edelman purchased JCPR, the inevitable CEO jousting match came to its conclusion yesterday as Stuart Smith’s reign as CEO at Edelman UK came to a swift end.
After a gradual coming together of the two organisations, it was decided that the “two separate P&Ls created an arbitrary division” and it was Stuart that was pushed onto his pen. In his place Robert Phillips, JCPR’s co-founder, takes over as CEO of the consolidated P&L.
It’s a move that would draw sympathy from Jose Mourinho (and David Brain, president & CEO, Edelman Europe). Over the last three years, under Smith, Edelman has almost doubled in size. Only Weightwatchers’ “Slimmer of the Year” could expect a similar fate for such growth.
Over the same time period JCPR has grown by 40 per cent, which is far from shabby, but you can’t help but to feel sorry for Smith – at least until you consider his doubtlessly large golden handshake and a track record that’ll see him straight into another top job.
With both businesses moving into one building within the next 12 months, perhaps it was felt that Phillips is best qualified to make sure that JCPR’s sparkle isn’t diminished by Edelman’s larger and far more sober B2B focus.
We don’t think for a second that Robert Phillips actually said “let’s make things better,” because – clearly – matching similar growth figures is going to be bloody difficult. We also don’t think he said it because quoting an old advertising strapline from a Dutch conglomerate with a similar sounding name to your own surname would be a little bit frivolous.
As for what this means in tech PR world, well, you’d imagine that Edelman/JCPR will probably get a few more consumer tech accounts to sit alongside X-Box, Creative, Motorola and the like....