Edelman’s Michelle Hutton to return to Australia as CEO Steve Spurr announces sabbatical

Edelman Australia has announced CEO Steve Spurr will leave at the end of July to take a sabbatical, with Michelle Hutton returning from Europe to take up the role upon his departure.

It will be a return to the role of Australian CEO for Hutton, who ran Edelman’s local operations before relocating to the UK to serve in several international roles for the agency, including in her current role as managing director, global client strategy. In addition to her responsibilities as CEO, Hutton will also become chief growth officer for the Asia Pacific region.

Steve Spurr has been with the agency for 21 years

“After 21 incredible years living and working across the world with Edelman, it is time to take some time out to travel, pursue some unattended personal passions and focus on family,” said Spurr, who acted as CEO for three and a half years. His career with the agency spanned more than two decades, including four years as COO of Edelman UK and Ireland, based in London.

“This is truly a bittersweet moment as I leave behind a team made up of the most amazing talent I have ever worked with.”

Edelman said Spurr built an “inimitable team” that has “delivered sturdy growth, award-winning work” and “substantially broadened the remit of what Edelman offers its clients in Australia”.

“Steve has been an indispensable partner to our clients and a mentor to our colleagues over his impressive career across our APAC and EMEA regions,” said Matthew Harrington, global COO.

“We thank him for his many contributions so far and look forward to him returning early next year so we can continue to benefit from his talent and leadership.”

Spurr aimed to make Edelman a “top talent destination” when appointed to CEO, taking over from Tim Richies, who was Hutton’s successor when she moved to the UK.

Upon her return to the market, Hutton will be based in Sydney. In her time overseas, she served as chair of the brand business and COO for Europe before becoming managing director, global client strategy. She is also president of the PR jury at this year’s Cannes Lions.

The appointment marks a return to the role for Hutton

APAC CEO Jesse Lin said that Edelman is “absolutely delighted to be bringing Michelle back home”.

“We’re equally thrilled Michelle has agreed to lend us her talents at a regional level where she will also take on the role of chief growth officer for Asia Pacific,” Lin added.

“She is a seasoned client counsellor and inspiring team leader, and we look forward to giving her a warm welcome to the Asia Pacific regional team.”

Hutton speaking on stage at this year’s CommsCon

Hutton said she is equally “thrilled” to be returning to Sydney.

“Our Australian business has a strong team delivering smart, impactful work for enviable client partners, and I’m very excited and privileged to lead the next evolution of our business in this important market,” she said.

“I’m also delighted to have the opportunity to work with our leadership team in Asia Pacific. This is by far the most exciting region for our industry and our clients. I can’t wait to dig in.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.