NEW YORK — Gail Heimann is to retire from her role as global CEO of The Weber Shandwick Collective, with global president Susan Howe succeeding her in November of this year.

Heimann retires after 28 years with Weber Shandwick, and five years after she took on the global CEO role. Her tenure at one of the world's biggest PR firms was marked by transformation amid the Covid-19 pandemic, culminating in the firm's selection as Global Agency of the Year in 2023, along with the creation of The Weber Shandwick Collective (TWSC) — which includes 11 specialist Interpublic Group sister firms across such areas as consumer marketing, public affairs, healthcare, paid media and social-first creative.

"It’s something I’ve been thinking about for quite a while," Heimann told PRovoke Media. "When you look at TWSC, Susan and I have been leading it to this extraordinary place – we’re outperforming our competitive set, we’re at the top of the innovation agenda, we’re at a moment of creative supremacy. There’s no better time for Susan to take over the reins."

Howe has been with TWSC for more than two decades, including the past three years as the firm's global president, where she led the firm's four operating regions (North America, EMEA, APAC and LatAm), while deepening integration between TWSC's partner agencies and practices areas.

Howe had previously served as the company’s chief growth officer and chief collaboration officer, while also playing a leading role on major client relationships such as AB InBev, Nestle and Kellanova.

"We are driving solutions like never before," Howe told PRovoke Media. "It’s the creative powerhouse but also the strategic counsel. I’m incredibly enthusiastic about where we are for the industry and I believe Gail and her leadership team have set the pace for the industry. I’m lucky to have partnered with Gail for a very long time, but also incredible leaders from around the organization."

Weber Shandwick does not have plans to name Howe's successor as president at this time.

Howe’s appointment also carries on the tradition of Weber Shandwick naming CEOs from within the agency, ever since it was formed from the mergers of BSMG, Shandwick and Weber more than two decades ago.

“The strength of our company has been the stability at the top of the organization," Heimann said. "We have had a very stable leadership team at the top of our organization. That has been a great strength for us.”

Said Howe, “When you have that deep counselling relationship, knowing the team is consistent is really valuable for our clients. Gail has been a singular leader; she has been very clear about her vision to relentlessly and restlessly change our industry.”

"It’s an awesome moment. We feel this is a moment where earned really rules, having not just a place at the table but in many situations at the head of the table," Howe added.