Felicitas Olschewski joins the firm from Adidas as EMEA Head of Digital

Edelman has made a number of hires and promotions across the EMEA region that diversify and strengthen the firm’s digital, planning and creative capabilities.

In recent year’s Edelman has experienced significant growth within its core business and integrated creative solutions. During the COVID-19 pandemic Edelman EMEA rapidly advanced its regional strategy to deepen integration across the firm by adopting a market agnostic approach. These new moves and strategy have allowed the firm to deploy specialist talent across the region regardless of geography, to bring the best possible solutions to clients’ business challenges.

Felicitas Olschewski joins Edelman as Head of Digital, EMEA and will lead the team of 78 digital experts across the region. She will be responsible for deepening the region’s strategic approach and operating model to integrated communications and marketing through digital with a focus on strategic advisory, digital content, innovation and experience for clients. Felicitas joins Edelman from Adidas where she was Global Director of Digital Strategy and Innovation and most recently drove the brand’s next 5-year strategic business plan for igital Experience. She also held a number of senior digital, creative and innovation strategy roles in adidas product innovation as well as in agencies like TBWA, DDB & Tribal, DentsuACHTUNG, and 72and Sunny where she created award winning work across integrated brand communications, sustainability and digital innovation on a global, EMEA and market level.

In a commitment to expanding Edelman’s strategy and planning capabilities across the region, Jay Gallagher will take on an expanded role as Chief Strategy Officer. In this role he will be responsible for leading and growing the function across EMEA, as well as embedding insights and strategy at the core of work for clients. Jay joined Edelman seven years ago to leading planning for Edelman UK and during that time has been instrumental in building the community in the region to include 27 planners and strategists. This includes bolstering capabilities with a number of Planning and Strategy Directors across the region including Patricia Ochando in Spain; Prabs Iyeras in the Middle East in Ben Elias in Germany.

Felicitas and Jay will sit on Edelman EMEA’s bench of integrated solutions leaders led by AJ Hesselink, COO, Edelman EMEA. They join the team also including Mattias Ronge and Stefan Ronge, Chief Creative Officers and Toby Gunton, Head of DxI EMEA, Edelman’s research, analytics and data arm. This team also reports to their respective global leader across digital, planning and strategy, creative DxI to drive integration across the entire Edelman network.

The firm has also seen significant growth within in its creative community in recent months with senior creative hires in France, Spain and the UK. Joining the 79-strong creative team across the region, Lauren Haberfield has taken on the role of Creative Director in Edelman France, having previously held roles at McCann, Ogilvy & Mather and most recently at BETC. Felipe Braz was recently hired as Creative Director in Spain previously holding roles at a number of creative agencies in Spain, Belgium and Brazil including Ogilvy and DDB’s OneWG. Earlier this summer Lex Di Benedetto also joined Edelman UK as Creative Director.

AJ Hesselink, COO, Edelman EMEA said: “We are thrilled to bring in talent of this calibre. Clients are looking for fully integrated solutions and the growth within these teams reflect the type of work we are producing. Edelman’s Cannes Lions Grand Prix win this summer is a demonstration that this model works. Bringing together these functions to solve business challenges is no longer a nice to have, but essential to successfully navigating the complex world we live in and connecting with audiences in an authentic and purposeful way.”

In other leadership moves, Joe Carmody has been promoted to General Manager and CEO of Edelman Ireland’s business. Joe took over leadership of Edelman’s Irish office in 2014 and during that time has grown the business exponentially. This move also sees Piaras Kelly, Feargal Purcell, and Darragh Rea take on the roles of Managing Director of their respective functions. Niamh Garvey has also been appointed Executive Director International Health UK and Ireland as part of plans to grow the health business across the region.

Former Golin Co-CEO, Jon Hughes also joined Edelman EMEA in June as a senior advisor to work across the firm’s brand advisory and integrated marketing practice. In this role he will support with the growth of Edelman’s integrated corporate marketing offer as well as evolve and build the firm’s approach to agency alliances and partnerships.

Ed Williams, CEO and President, Edelman EMEA said: “We are now seeing the rubber hit the road of our regional strategy – senior hires operating in a country agnostic manner against complex client mandates. Our horizontal integration strategy is simple: we bring the best of the firm to our clients every day, fusing deep local market knowledge and connectivity, with industry leading specialist experience. The new hires and promotions we are announcing today, strengthens our arm further in respect to delivering against this ambition.”