NEW YORK, August 11—Professional services giant Ernst & Young has restructured its public relations function, naming Larry Parnell—who for the past two years head of PR for the Americas—to the new position of director of global public relations.
Parnell will be responsible for managing the global PR operations for Ernst & Young, with a focus on reputation management, executive visibility and crisis and issues management worldwide. According to Jim Speros, the company’s marketing manager, Parnell “has extensive experience in all aspects of communications that he can draw upon to help position our firm strategically across the globe with our key stakeholders.”
Parnell joined Ernst & Young after serving as senior vice president and group manager at Ketchum. His previous experience includes positions with Gavin Anderson & Company and Manning Selvage & Lee, and on the corporate side with GTE Corporation and People’s Bank of Connecticut.
Ernst & Young last year completed the sale of its consulting business to Cap Gemini of France, and last month made the transition to a new leadership team. It is positioning itself to become more global, and Parnell’s promotion is part of that plan. He will manage a team of communications professionals that includes more than 25 people outside the U.S., as well as a headquarter team of six and regional people around the U.S.
The globalization may also mean an expanded role for Hill & Knowlton, Ernst & Young’s agency of record. While PR executives in overseas markets will continue to enjoy the freedom to select their own agency partners, they have been introduced to H&K, which will play a role in coordinating global communications efforts.
Says Parnell, “I am pleased that public relations will play such an important role in Ernst & Young’s globalization. I look forward to building on the success of initiatives already underway here in North America and creating a seamless communications function for our firm on a worldwide basis.”