HONG KONG — Burson-Marsteller has concluded its lengthy search for an Asia-Pacific CEO, hiring industry veteran Terri-Helen Gaynor for a role that has effectively remained vacant since late 2012.

Gaynor succeeds Bob Pickard, who left Burson two years ago. In the interim, the region has been led by global vice-chair and chief client officer Pat Ford, who established an Asia-Pacific leadership team in 2013. Both Gaynor and Ford will report to Burson-Marsteller worldwide chair and CEO Don Baer.

Gaynor returns to Hong Kong from Australia, where she co-founded independent consultancy Reputation in 2003. Previously, she worked as an executive director at Forrest International in Hong Kong, before the firm's sale to Golin. Her 30-year career includes experience across internal communications, investor relations and marketing communications.

"Terri-Helen is widely respected across Asia-Pacific and the global communications sector as an expert strategist with broad expertise managing complex issues in partnership with CEOs, boards of directors, financial authorities and government ministers,” said Baer.

"She is an extraordinary communications professional who brings strong entrepreneurial drive to the role of building our business prospects and expanding our reach in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region."

Ford retains his existing global roles and will also continue to serve as Asia-Pacific chair during the leadership transition. “All of us are very grateful to Pat Ford for leading the region during these past two years,” said Baer.