SAN FRANCISCO — Burson-Marsteller’s Chris Deri has been hired as the first president of WCG since the agency’s restructuring last year. 

Having joined WCG this week, Deri is based in the firm’s New York office and is being tasked with operations, as well as expanding and diversifying WCG’s overall client portfolio.

Prior to joining WCG, Deri led Burson’s five-office operation in Mainland China for three years and spent a decade leading Edelman’s global CSR and sustainability practice. Last month, Burson announced Matt Stafford assuming the role of its mainland China lead.

“Chris brings a new experience and perspective relative to corporate and CSR,” said Jim Weiss, CEO of W20, the parent company for WCG. “He also has a global reach and over time we hope he’ll help us expand globally.”

He added, Deri's appointment is intended to help the agency become better known outside of its roots in the healthcare sector.

WCG currently has five offices in the US and one in London via its acquisition of Mettle Consulting earlier this year. Deri is based in New York and is a member of the W2O executive team, reporting to W20 president Bob Pearson.

Prior to Deri’s appointment, Weiss, Pearson and W20’s corporate lead Gary Grates led WCG. Last year, Weiss launched the W20 Group to become the parent company of WCG and three new firms -- W20 Ventures, Twist and Brew. The privately-held holding company reported $62 million in revenues in 2012, up from $47.5 million in 2011.

“It’s very much both an entrepreneurial and high-growth organization that has attracted a very talented bench,” Deri told the Holmes Report.