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Press release from Business Wire

Hill+Knowlton Strategies Unifies Americas Region

<p class='bwalignc'> <i>U.S. president and CEO chooses to depart following completion of transition; Move follows APAC and EMEA unifications, completing global organizational alignment</i> </p> <p class='bwalignc'> </p>

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hill+Knowlton Strategies Unifies Americas Region

16:00 EDT Monday, July 21, 2014

NEW YORK (Business Wire) -- Hill+Knowlton Strategies is unifying its operations in the United States, Canada and Latin America into an Americas regional structure, with Mike Coates, 30-year H+K veteran and chairman and CEO of H+K Canada, becoming president and CEO of the Americas region. Coates will be headquartered in New York and his appointment is effective immediately.

The firm is also announcing that U.S. President and CEO Andy Weitz will depart the firm, now that the global strategy and growth plans he was instrumental in developing are complete. Weitz is choosing to return to his entrepreneurial roots and planning to spend more time with his young family.

The unification of the Americas is the final geographic step in the global organizational strategy undertaken by Jack Martin and the firm's leadership since Martin became global chairman and CEO in 2011. The uncoupling of some regions and countries during this time was intended to allow for localized refinements of structure and process and to provide proving grounds for talent and leadership at all levels and across all geographies. The reconstruction of the various H+K regions over the past year — APAC in November, EMEA in May and now the Americas – is the culmination of that process.

“This move in the Americas is three years in the making and one of the first instincts I had about our business when I took this role, given that the economies in this region are more linked to one another than almost anywhere else in the world,” said Martin. “While there was no set time frame for when this unification would be made, when Andy indicated he was choosing to leave, it signaled for me now was an ideal time. With regional unification complete we have a global organization that is more integrated and better able to quickly deploy the best talent and resources around the world.”

In Coates, Martin has tapped a proven and dedicated leader with a long history with H+K to assume leadership of the firm's largest region. Leading Hill+Knowlton Strategies Canada since 1995, Coates has directed a process of change that has moved the company to an extended period of growth. From an internal perspective, evidence of Coates's leadership and ability to attract and retain the absolute best talent in the business is seen in Hill+Knowlton Canada's selection by the Great Place to Work® Institute as one of Canada's best workplaces for the last eight consecutive years.

“There is no one better suited, and no one I trust more, to lead our largest region,” Martin said. “Under Mike's steady hand, we'll see even stronger connection between our offices, people and practices around the global network and provide increased opportunities for our colleagues to learn from, shine alongside and lead the most talented strategic communications professionals in the world.”

Coates has promoted Goldy Hyder, president of H+K Canada, to president and CEO. Both Hyder and Antonio Tamayo, president and CEO of Latin America, now report to Coates. For now, Mike will also serve as U.S. president and CEO.

“Our new structure is about more than just integrating geographies,” said Coates. “It's also about making sure that PR has a leading strategic role in helping our clients, by better integrating the new and exciting services we have brought into our firm. From our research and analytics capabilities with RDI, to public engagement with Ascentum and Dewey Square Group, boutique tech expertise with Blanc & Otus, and top creative content and digital strategies with Group SJR. This move is about making sure our clients across the Americas consistently benefit from the talented resources we have in the company.”

“I have appreciated Andy's dedication to the firm over the last six years,” Martin said, “He has taken on every task I have asked of him and he has established himself as a thought leader in the industry. He has been a trusted advisor to me and mentor to many in the U.S. I know he will be successful in whatever challenge he chooses to tackle next.”

“This decision to leave Hill+Knowlton Strategies was not an easy one,” Weitz said, “but it's made significantly easier knowing two things. First, that our focus on world-class client service and award-winning thought leadership has the U.S. on the right path. And second, that the firm – and the U.S. team – are in the right hands with Mike Coates as the leader of this new Americas region.”

The new Americas region comprises almost 900 employees, in 29 offices across eight countries: Canada, the United States (and Puerto Rico), Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico.

About Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Inc. is a leading international communications consultancy, providing services to local, multinational and global clients. The firm is headquartered in New York, with 87 offices in 49 countries, as well as an extensive associate network. The agency is part of WPP, the world's largest communications services group. For more information, please visit www.hkstrategies.com.

Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Inc.
Megan Schaefer, 212-885-0463
megan.schaefer@hkstrategies.com

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