BRUSSELS--Burson-Marsteller has made two senior appointments to its EMEA operations, including the hire of SABMiller comms head Michael Farr to its South African operation.
In addition, the firm has named Katarina Wallin Bureau as EMEA COO. Seven-year agency veteran Wallin Bureau was previously MD of EMEA strategy at the firm, and will now have responsibility for new business, practices, affiliate partners, insights/research and marketing communications.
Burson has made three acquisitions in the region during the past eight months, including France’s i&e and Finnish firm Pohjoisranta.
Farr joins the third of these purchases, South Africa’s Arcay, in which Burson owns a 51 percent stake. He departs SABMiller after spending five years as head of reputation and corporate communications in London. At Arcay, he will report to CEO and founder Robyn de Villiers in Johannesburg.
Before joining SAB in 2003, Michael held CEO positions at The Cape Town Partnership, The Tourism Business Council of South Africa and South African Tourism. He began his career in the diplomatic service with his last posting being as South Africa’s Consul-General to Hong Kong and Macau.
“He brings with him many years of experience in corporate communications, reputation management and public affairs,” said de Villiers. “We look forward to welcoming him to our team, where he will work with us to grow the business in South Africa, at the same time enabling me to focus more strongly on advising our clients and on our Africa strategy.”
“Michael has made a significant contribution to the company since he joined SAB in August 2003,” said SABMiller acting corporate affairs director Mike Short. “At SAB he led the company’s communications and media relations department and after transferring to SABMiller plc in early 2007, he led the development and implementation of a global reputation management strategy and framework for the group.”
Short has served as acting corporate affairs director at the brewing giant since Sue Clark was promoted to European MD earlier this year.
“We have made three acquisitions in the past eight months - Arcay in South Africa, Pohjoisranta in Finland and this week i&e in France, meaning that we are significantly larger as a region than a year ago,” said Burson EMEA CEO Jeremy Galbraith. “Burson-Marsteller EMEA now has a network of 29 offices and over 80 additional markets covered by affiliates.”