John Saunders will succeed Dave Senay as FleishmanHillard’s president and chief executive officer.
Saunders, a native of Dublin, will begin his new duties with immediate effect. He was most recently president for FleishmanHillard’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. He will reside in St. Louis, where the agency is headquartered.
“John Saunders emerged from a year-long leadership evaluation process and stood out in many respects,” said Dale Adams, chairman and CEO of the DAS Group of Companies, a division of FleishmanHillard’s parent company, Omnicom Group.
“He is an inspiring communicator and a natural collaborator and relationship-builder.”
Senay steps down after 32 years with the company and more than nine years as president and chief executive officer. He joined FleishmanHillard in March 1984 and was appointed president and chief executive officer in July 2006. He will remain with the firm as a consultant and to support the leadership transition.
Specifically, Senay led the company’s adoption of a digital platform and a more integrated approach to communications. He also spearheaded the creation of “Ethics as Culture,” a program to promote ethical decision-making in public relations.
Senay said it had been an honor to lead FleishmanHillard.
“From day one, it has been the people of FleishmanHillard who made the firm the gold standard for quality in the public relations industry. John will carry on a tradition of excellence that goes back to our founding in St. Louis in 1946.”