Edelman names Hass as China president

Independent public relations firm Edelman has strengthened its China offering, naming former MS&L Worldwide CEO Mark Hass as president of Edelman China.

Hass was most recently founding partner and CEO of MH Group Communications. As part of his appointment, his agency, which specialises in corporate communications and social media, is being merged into Edelman’s Digital practice.

As China president he will be responsible for Edelman's Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou offices, as well as Pegasus, a PR group acquired by Edelman in 2007. Both firms employ more than 165 people.

Hass will report to Alan VanderMolen, president of Edelman Asia Pacific.

Although admitting 2009 was a tough year in China, VanderMolen said Edelman has a very clear goal in this quickly developing market.

“To be the market’s best and largest full-service public relations firm," he said.

"Mark’s extensive global, corporate and digital communications experience coupled with his entrepreneurial drive is ideal to support that goal.”

On top of Hass' appointment, Shirley Wong-Walker joins as head of the firm’s health practice with James Cook joining as head of its technology practice.

Wong-Walker and Cook, both join from MS&L where they both led the health and technology practices.

Cook has a long history of working in China, having led the Microsoft account at Weber Shandwick Beijing.

All appointments are effective 1 February.