27 November 2018, LONDON – Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K) has promoted Simon Whitehead, currently Managing Director of H+K UK’s Energy + Industrials team to UK Chief Executive Officer. Effective immediately, he takes over the role from Richard Millar who has been promoted to Global President, along with Lars Erik Grønntun.
Whitehead joined H+K in 2011 and has transformed H+K’s Energy + Industrials team into the largest of H+K UK’s eight industry sectors with a 35-person dedicated team and clients including Shell, Hitachi, ICMM, Smart Energy GB, OGCI and E.ON. He has also served as H+K’s Global Energy + Industrials Practice Leader.
“Simon’s leadership of our Energy + Industrial’s team has proven undisputedly his abilities: he is held in high regard by clients and colleagues alike and his ability to motivate and mobilize teams to deliver exceptional work is outstanding,” said Jack Martin, Global Chairman and CEO “I am confident that Simon will lead H+K’s flagship operation to new heights.”
“I am honored and energized by the opportunity to become CEO of H+K’s largest single office. Under Richard’s leadership, the London office has undergone a fundamental transformation and I am looking forward to building on that success along with my 300 London-based colleagues” said Whitehead. “We will build on our culture of innovation and collaboration by focusing on our clients and broadening and deepening the expertise we deliver through integrated communications.”
Whitehead spent the first part of his career working in international banking at Deutsche Morgan Grenfell and in British politics before gaining his MBA from Cranfield, which focused on marketing communications. He then worked in public affairs and strategic communications as director of emerging markets in London at APCO Worldwide and then in financial public relations as the energy and natural resources partner at College Hill (now Instinctif) before joining H+K.
H+K has offices in more than 40 countries worldwide, delivering award winning campaigns to clients across all sectors and disciplines and with a focus on continued innovation for the industry. Recent innovations include Flight School +, a crisis communications training and simulation tool, Better Impact, a new approach to brand purpose and CSR, and H+K Smarter, a behavioral science unit.