Burson-Marsteller has announced the appointment of Donald A. Baer as worldwide chief executive officer.
Baer has wide-ranging executive experience across the worlds of media, communications, journalism and politics, including serving as White House communications director and chief speechwriter for President Bill Clinton.
He joined Burson-Marsteller four years ago, serving on the senior management team as Worldwide vice chairman and chief strategy officer and leading many major client engagements.
Baer succeeds Mark Penn, who has held the role since 2005 and is joining Microsoft as corporate vice president, Strategic and Special Projects.
Baer has also served as chairman of Burson-Marsteller’s sister research firm Penn Schoen Berland and will continue in that role.
Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of Burson-Marsteller’s parent company WPP, said: “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.”
Before joining Burson-Marsteller, Baerwas one of the top worldwide executives at global media company Discovery Communications, home of the Discovery Channel and other major media platforms.
Among a range of creative and corporate leadership roles, Baer managed worldwide communications and marketing; business development, new ventures and acquisitions; new media strategy and operations; research, and public policy.
He is a member of the boards of directors of PBS and The Urban Institute. Baer holds degrees from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the London School of Economics and The University of Virginia Law School.