LONDON--Susan Gilchrist has been named CEO of Brunswick, one of a string of leadership changes announced by the powerhouse financial PR firm today.

Formerly US managing partner, Gilchrist will remain based in New York. Her appointment comes after a lengthy search to fill the CEO role, which considered external and internal candidates.

The CEO role was previously held by Laurent Perpere, who has stepped down from the position but remains in charge of the Paris office. Perpere took on the role after the departure of Stephen Carter in 2008.

In addition, Rob Pinker is promoted from his role as Middle East and Africa managing partner to become chief operating officer. Pinker will split his time between London and Johannesburg.

The appointments are intended to support Brunswick’s continued global expansion, and free up chairman Alan Parker to handle more direct client work. The firm has seen particular growth in the US in recent years, thanks to lucrative assignments from such companies as BP and Facebook.

Mike Buckley, a Brunswick partner who has headed the San Francisco office since its launch in 2008, succeeds Gilchrist as US managing partner. Itumeleng Mahabane and Mark Palmer are promoted to lead the Johannesburg and Dallas/Fort Worth offices, respectively.

In addition, Brunswick has opened a new operation in Sao Paolo, marking its twentieth global office. Brunswick partner Thomas Kamm will lead the new office, along with new hire Ana Paula Pessoa, who joins Brunswick from Infoglobo, where she was CFO and new business director.