Edelman's Dumont on the move
Serge Dumont, who spearheaded the growth of Edelman China during the past three years, is leaving the American-based public relations firm to pursue personal interests as of January 1 next year.
He will be succeeded as Edelman's president of North Asia by David Chard, currently managing director of Edelman Taiwan, an agency the firm acquired in May.
Mr Dumont founded Interasia in Beijing in 1985 and sold it to Edelman in 1993. As chairman of Edelman China, he helped establish it as the country's top agency, quadrupling revenue since the acquisition. Last year, the company's China fees grew by 29 per cent.
Richard Edelman, the company's president and chief executive officer, said Asia accounted for US$14 million of Edelman's $120 million in fees last year and he forecast regional growth of between 25 and 35 per cent this year.
Mr Edelman said the company had nine offices in the region. Its next initiative would be to acquire an office in India.
'Asia has become very important to us in proving the capabilities of the organisation. Procter & Gamble used us first in China and Taiwan liked what we did and then expanded our association with them into the US and Europe. Traditionally, it had been the other way around,' he said.
Edelman's latest move has been to create branded products as a method of providing better service to its customers.
The company has created a crisis management product connected to the Internet to provide companies with Web sites when emergencies occur; a corporate reputation management platform on how companies perceive themselves and how others perceive them; and a convergence marketing concept relating to the de-regulation specifically in health care, technology and financial services.