SAN JOSE--The Hoffman Agency has hired former Edelman executive Steve Burkhart as general manager of its North American operations.

Hoffman CEO Lou Hoffman is hoping that Burkhart will help kickstart more aggressive growth at the 25-year-old tech firm.

“If you look at our global revenue, we grew 18 percent last year in a down economy which isn’t too shabby,” Hoffman told the Holmes Report. “Yet, our US revenue was flat. I felt it was time to jumpstart the US operation with new energy at the top.”

Burkhart spent a decade with Edelman in Seattle and Portland, before a more recent four-year stint as GM/SVP at Weber Shandwick Portland, where he led several Microsoft accounts and was the principal author of a storytelling curriculum that was taught to Microsoft executives around the world. He was also a senior leader on Weber Shandwick's clean tech team, heading accounts in green IT, engineering, green building and biofuels while managing teams in Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and New York.

“With Steve taking the day-to-day reins, I can get more involved in supporting the agency at a global level and evolving how we support our clients,” added Hoffman. “I’m convinced the business of communications is going through its version of the industrial revolution. I have some ideas on how we can capitalize on this.”

The Silicon Valley firm’s global presence, particularly in Asia, has seen steady growth in recent years. In North America, Hoffman is also hoping that Burkhart’s arrival can usher in a progression of the firm’s offering.

“For example, large companies are more open these days to multiple agencies as opposed to the AOR concept,” explained Hoffman. “While we might not always have the scale to handle the heavy lifting, Steve pointed out that we can be the perfect resource to take a laser focus to a specific programme.”

“Related to growth, we want to increase our assignments that play a strategic role with the client,” he said. “Beyond corporate reputation and branding, there can be a management consulting dimension to these assignments.”