LONDON--Senior agency executive Amanda Pierce has been promoted to CEO of Burson-Marsteller UK, taking over from Matt Carter.

Carter, who was named CEO of the firm in January 2010, takes on a senior counselor role at Burson, focusing specifically on major client engagements. The former EMEA MD of WPP polling firm Penn Schoen & Berland (PSB) will also pursue additional interests outside the firm.

It is understood that Carter will set up his own consultancy, focusing on strategic communications, issues, crisis management, research and polling.

"I wish him every success in establishing his new business," said Burson-Marsteller EMEA CEO Jeremy Galbraith.

Pierce is named CEO after joining Burson in 2008 and most recently serving as head of corporate and crisis across EMEA and UK. Before joining the agency she was head of media and internal communications at McDonald's UK.

"The UK is one of our most significant offices and a key hub for international business," said Galbraith. "I am convinced that [Pierce] is the right person to lead it and build on the success of the last few years."

"Under her leadership the UK corporate and crisis practice has grown steadily and consolidated its position as the biggest practice in the UK office," added Galbraith.  

Prior to his seven year stint at PSB, Carter was general secretary for the Labour Party. His exit from the agency CEO role comes after last year's departure of Burson global CEO Mark Penn for Microsoft. Penn originally founded PSB with Doug Schoen and Mike Berland; all three founders have now left the company.