Diana Marszalek 12 Jan 2023 // 7:03PM GMT
NEW YORK — BCW Global CEO Donna Imperato announced Thursday that she plans to retire this year once her successor is found.
Imperato, a 25-year WPP veteran, will work with Mark Read, the holding company’s CEO, to identify a new leader and ensure a smooth transition before formally stepping down, BCW said in announcing the plan.
“After 25 years of service to WPP and partnership with my incredible leadership teams over the years, I have decided it is time for a change,” said Imperato. “My goal and commitment over the past five years in leading the merger of Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe to form BCW was to build one of the largest and best public relations/integrated communications agencies in the world. Having accomplished this, I will be leaving BCW in excellent shape and with a fantastic leadership team.”
Imperato has helmed BCW, the world’s third largest PR firm, since it was created in 2018 through the merger of WPP’s Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe. Imperato had spent the previous 15 years as CEO of Cohn & Wolfe.
In her current role, Imperato oversees all aspect of the BCW Group which includes AxiCom, WPP’s specialist tech PR agency; Direct Impact, a grassroots and advocacy agency; global healthcare agency CGI Health, creative agency HZ; and Prime Policy Group, a public affairs and public policy consultancy.
BCW reported $772 million in fee income in 2021, according to PRovoke Media’s 2020 global PR agency rankings
In 2020, PRovoke Media named BCW its global agency of the year.
“Donna has made a huge contribution to WPP as the driving force behind the success of Cohn & Wolfe and now BCW,” Read said. “We are very grateful for Donna’s leadership over many years and wish her all the best for the future.”
Said Imperato, “It has been an absolute privilege to lead Cohn & Wolfe and BCW and to partner with the most talented leaders in our industry — both colleagues and clients. I will greatly miss working with my team on a daily basis once I move on, but we will always be good friends.”