In the US, Harris Insights & Analytics (formerly Harris Interactive) has appointed long-time WPP execs John Gerzema and Will Johnson as co-CEOs, while Jonathan Gardner joins as Chief Operating Officer.
The Harris business was established in 1956 by John F. Kennedy's pollster Louis Harris, who in 1963 set up the Harris Poll to measure public opinion in the US. At the end of last year, Nielsen sold the Harris brand and the Harris Poll to The Stagwell Group, the investment advisory company formed by Penn Schoen Berland co-founder and former Bill Clinton pollster Mark Penn, who is now Harris Chairman. Stagwell also owns strategic communications firm SKDKnickerbocker, entertainment research firm National Research Group (NRG), creative digital firm Code and Theory, and integrated performance-driven global marketing firm PMX Agency.
Before joining, Gerzema served as Chairman/CEO of BAV Consulting, which runs the BrandAsset Valuator analytic survey of brands and consumer behavior. Before this he was Chief Insights Officer at marcoms agency Young & Rubicam, and held senior positions at ad agency Fallon. Johnson previously worked with Gerzema, serving as President of BAV Consulting, and SVP of Young & Rubicam. Gardener joins the firm from DC-based public affairs specialist Subject Matter, where he served as COO, having earlier been a director at Penn Schoen Berland, and Assistant to the Director of Presidential Speeches for President Clinton.
Commenting on the appointments, Penn said: 'John and Will bring unparalleled expertise in branding and strategy as well as twenty-first century analytics and insights to a legendary public opinion and market research firm. Jonathan will be a first-rate operations executive and I am confident he will help Harris achieve what clients require at speed and scale'.
Web sites: www.theharrispoll.com and www.stagwellgroup.com .
All articles 2006-19 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.