Burson-Marsteller has announced the appointment of Donald A. Baer as their Chief Executive Officer. The vast experience of Baer, covering media, communications, journalism and politics, and even Director of White House Communications, were cited as some of the reasons for his appointment.
Baer, who also served as President Bill Clinton’s speechwriter, joined Burson-Marsteller 4 years ago, having served the company as Worldwide Vice Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer, as well as having led major client initiatives, according to the company release.
Baer succeeds Mark Penn, who held the position from 2005 until now. Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of Burson-Marsteller’s parent company WPP, offered this comment on the announcement:
“Burson-Marsteller continues to be an industry leader with strategic public relations capabilities and a global footprint that few firms can match. I am confident the firm’s track record of success and its reputation for delivering results for its clients will continue under Don Baer’s leadership.”
A well respected communications executive, Baer was also formerly part of Discovery Communications, eminent for their world famous Discovery Channel. For Baer’s part, he was involved in managing worldwide communications and marketing; business development, new ventures and acquisitions; new media strategy and operations; research, and public policy, for that company too. Baer had this to say about his new role:
“I am excited to continue building Burson-Marsteller as the most creative and effective results-oriented, ideas-driven communications and public relations firm in the world. Under Mark Penn’s strong, visionary leadership and based on the legacy of our founder Harold Burson, our firm is well-established among the leading public relations forces across the globe, and I am eager to work with our excellent leadership team to continue our success and our clients to deliver results that accomplish their goals.”
Before his journalism endeavors, Baer was a media lawyer in New York City. A member of the boards of directors of PBS and The Urban Institute, he holds degrees from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the London School of Economics and The University of Virginia Law School.