FRANKFURTHill+Knowlton Strategies has appointed Susanne Marell as the new CEO and chairman of its operations in Germany.

Marell joins from JP KOM in Dusseldorf, where she had been managing director since October 2018. Before that, she was CEO of Edelman in Germany for six years, overseeing the acquisition and merger with Ergo Kommunikation. Before starting her agency career, Marell served in senior in-house roles including vice president of corporate brand management at BASF SE and as VP corporate communications at Cognis Deutschland.

Marell replaces former H+K Germany CEO Rüdiger Maessen, who joined the firm in 2017 from Ketchum Pleon and is now managing director of German events company Uniplan.

As leader for one of the firm’s key markets and clusters, Marell will join the firm’s Global Leadership Council when she takes up her new position on 1 June.

Marell, who is also one of the co-founders of the German chapter of Global Women in PR, will report to H+K’s global president Lars Erik Grønntun, who said: “I am very pleased to have such a strong and experienced person spearheading this very key operation in such a demanding time for both Germany and the world.

He added: “Susanne has that unique combination of traits that we have been looking for; a strong track record from both agency and client side, commercially and entrepreneurially minded, a good communicator and a proven people leader. She combines a strong foothold in the home market with an international outlook and we look forward to welcoming her into the H+K family.”

Marell said: “I am hugely excited to take over the helm. Hill + Knowlton’s history goes back more than 50 years here in Germany and I look forward to drive the further transformation of that legacy in the period to come. I was particularly encouraged by the aspirations H+K has for the German market and our shared belief in where the future of PR is heading.”