AMSTERDAM — Edelman has promoted Dutch lead Arent Jan Hesselink to the newly-created role of chief operating officer for EMEA, under the leadership of new EMEA president and CEO Ed Williams.

Since joining Edelman four years ago, Hesselink has doubled the size of the Amsterdam operation. He had previously spent more than nine years in senior roles within Philips’ global integrated marketing function, including as CMO for the Asia Pacific region. He began his career as a business journalist for Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal.

The role of general manager in Amsterdam will be filled by Steven Heywood, who is currently Hesselink’s deputy. Heywood was previously head of corporate communications for eBay, and has also held in-house roles in McDonald’s and the Ministry of Defence.

Williams said: “AJ has demonstrated how our firm can add value through strategic problem-solving in areas like shareholder activism and modern digital campaigning. Under his leadership Edelman Amsterdam has become a critical partner to our clients. He’s attracted significant new clients for the network and has transformed the office into one that develops and executes high-quality, integrated communications and marketing work.”

Hesselink said of his new role: “The past few years in Amsterdam have been amazing, and it has been an absolute honour to lead such a talented team of professionals and work with such a broad array of amazing clients. I am excited about the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead, and I am looking forward to working with Ed and the leadership team in the EMEA region to further improve the quality, integration and effectiveness of the work we deliver.”