Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K) has appointed UK CEO Richard Millar (pictured left) and EMEA CEO Lars Erik Grønntun (pictured right) as global presidents effective immediately, reporting jointly to Jack Martin (pictured centre), global chairman and CEO.
Millar has led the transformation of H+K’s flagship operation in the UK since 2008, and since 2014 has driven the agency’s creative agenda. This includes the formation formation of the global centre of creative strategy and the Shanghai Addition in China. Millar is also the senior lead on clients including adidas global across all categories.
Grønntun has led the agency’s operation across Europe, Middle East and Africa since 2014 and is a senior strategy consultant within corporate communications and public affairs. He is also the senior lead for some of H+K’s top global and European clients, including Equinor.
Meanwhile, H+K also reviewed the role of its content division SJR, in light of its “dramatic growth” since acquisition in 2013, and decided that it will operate independently of any one WPP Company. However, it will retain a “special attachment” to H+K on common clients. SJR will continue to be led by founding partners Alex Jutkowitz and Mitch Stoller.
Millar said the new structure enables the agency to tap into the best talent regardless of geography or practice.
“It means that our teams will have access to the latest thinking, strategy and insight to help them shape meaningful and impactful careers and to deliver outstanding creative work. I am excited to be part of this change in partnership with Grønntun and Martin,” he said.
Grønntun added that having led H+K’s operation in Europe, Middle East and Africa, he believes his understanding of local markets together with the agency’s international mindset and reach is transferable to a global stage.
“I very much look forward to taking a model that has worked very well for us in EMEA and putting it to work at a global scale,” he added.
“Both Millar and Grønntun have proven their exceptional leadership abilities over a number of years in the UK and EMEA respectively and I am looking forward to working with them to accelerate the implementation of a transformation program that maximizes our global resources and enhances our local strengths to deliver world-class work for our clients,” Martin said.
He also thanked Jutkowitz, Stoller and the team at SJR for their “immense contribution to the business. “I am certain that the two companies are much stronger and better positioned than they were before we joined forces. I wish SJR the best of luck in the wider group and look forward to our continued close collaboration,” he added.