NEW YORK — Burson has hired former Edelman leader Adrian Warr as CEO of South Asia-Pacific — a role originally slated for BCW Asia-Pacific president Matt Stafford, who has left the company.

Stafford exits BCW after serving as Asia-Pacific president since 2016, when he joined BCW predecessor Cohn & Wolfe. Since 2022, Stafford has also served as BCW global president of practices & sectors.

BCW and H&K named Stafford Burson CEO of South Asia-Pacific in February, when they announced the first round of regional leaders. A spokesperson would not elaborate on what transpired between then and Stafford’s exit.

Warr will oversee Burson’s business in India, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. He will join Burson on September 16, two-plus months after Burson’s launch July 1 when the merger of BCW and Hill & Knowlton Strategies becomes official.

Warr spent the past decade with Edelman in Asia in a variety of roles, before leaving the firm last year. Most recently he was APAC vice chair of practices and sectors. Before that, he served as APAC head of employee experience, CEO of Southeast Asia and CEO of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand.

Prior to Edelman, Warr spent 12 years in London, as a partner with Portland, an associate board director with Freuds Communications, and in a variety of roles in his seven years with H&K.

“The myriad challenges and opportunities facing clients today could not be more foundational,” said BCW global CEO Corey duBrowa, who will hold the same title at Burson.

“Adrian has considerable experience pairing creativity with innovation to help clients navigate ambiguity and overcome obstacles, all while building their reputations amid extreme geopolitical, social and commercial complexity. This expertise, coupled with his rigorous advocacy for teams and talent, make him exceptionally well-suited to lead our South APAC business.”