Maja Pawinska Sims 03 Jul 2018 // 5:34PM GMT
LONDON — Golin co-CEO Jon Hughes returns to the UK this week, after six years in Asia, to oversee all international offices across EMEA and Asia from the London office.
From his new UK base, Hughes (pictured, left) will also focus on driving innovation, including the development of new data and analytics tools for the whole company, as well as overseeing the global digital, technology and corporate practices.
Hughes took over as a global CEO alongside Matt Neale (pictured, right) and Gary Rudnick (pictured) in January 2017, under Golin’s 'CEO+' model.
Neale previously had responsibility for EMEA and will now focus on global functions including employee experience, diversity and inclusion initiatives, marketing and new business, as well as overseeing the healthcare practice.
Rudnick will oversee operations for the agency’s most profitable region, the Americas, which represents 60% of Golin’s business and includes expanding markets across Canada, the US and LatAm.
“I was always going to return the UK at some stage and I’m excited to be back,” Hughes told the Holmes Report on his first day back in the UK. “Asia was brilliant – it’s a wondrous place – and it’s cool to be back in London and to bring some of those learnings back to the team here.”
“There’s nothing too different about our roles,” added Hughes. “Having done this for 12 months we’ve been making tweaks and ironing out wrinkles and streamlining everything, and with me moving back to London it didn’t make sense for me not to be running the European business when Matt is in New York. Our discrete areas of responsibility allow us to get places faster and there will be some very interesting stuff from Golin in the next couple of months.”
Hughes said he will be working alongside global head of data and analytics, Jonny Bentwood, who was hired from Edelman in November: “Being in London will allow us to get our heads together and really accelerate our plans around the data and analytics part of the business.”
He will also be working more closely with London managing director Bibi Hilton, and Virgo Health MD Ondine Whittington. The move comes as Virgo Health moves into Golin’s offices so the teams can work more closely and share group operations functions including finance, talent and HR.
New hires in these areas include Rebecca Hall, from Edelman, as group HR director, Michael Willman as group talent manager and the promotion of Lynda Tay to group finance director.
Whittington said: “These changes are a great opportunity to drive growth and collaboration. Golin and Virgo Health will always be separate agencies, but the new group operational roles will support both agencies to continue to hire the best talent, do the best by our people and grow together."
Virgo health co-founder Angie Wiles now runs virtual healthcare agency The Difference Collective, while fellow co-founder Sarah Matthew left last summer and is now health chair at Hanover. Hughes said: “It made sense, with both founders no longer in the business, to unite Virgo Health with the Golin world so the team can more easily draw on our resources. Healthcare is on fire as a sector, and it’s a strong brand in its own right, so we’ll collaborate and work separately as required.”