AMSTERDAM—APCO Europe MD Ed Walsh is departing the firm to take on the top global comms role at Philips, the Holmes Report can reveal.

Walsh is to join Philips as SVP and head of global integrated communications, following the departure of VP and global head of external communication Andre Manning earlier this year to

Walsh will report to Richard Wergan, EVP and global head of brand of communications and digital at Philips, who joined the company from Barclays 18 months ago.

Walsh's arrival comes amid efforts by Wergan and other senior executives to modernize Philips' brand positioning.

Under CEO Frans van Houten, Philips is aiming to be known as more of a 'solutions' business rather than a product company, part of a business transformation programme that has seen the company focus on three core sectors: healthcare, lighting and consumer lifestyle.

Walsh told the Holmes Report that the opportunity was not one he could turn down. "This is an exciting time for Philips under its relatively new leadership and I’m looking forward to contributing to its success."

He departs APCO after eight years with the firm, which included leadership positions in the UK and across EMEA. Previously, Walsh served as corporate communications director at IBM, experience that will likely prove relevant to his new role at Philips.

"Thanks to his extensive experience in corporate communications both within an organization and externally, Ed will have a key part in further strengthen Philips’ global communications strategies," said Wergan.

Walsh, who is currently based in London, is expected to spend much of his time at Philips' HQ in Amsterdam. He will start his new role at Philips in September.