Edelman leadership shakeup: CEO Tim Riches resigns as Matthew Gain takes Audible role

Edelman Australia CEO Tim Riches has resigned after just one year with the agency, while chief operating officer Matthew Gain is also departing the PR firm for a role with Amazon-owned Audible, Mumbrella can reveal.

Riches, who joined the PR agency in only October last year to replace Michelle Hutton who was promoted to global chair of the firm’s consumer marketing practice, has resigned “to pursue other opportunities” and is being replaced by Edelman UK and Ireland COO Steven Spurr.

Riches resigned from Edelman CEO post after a year

Riches resigned from Edelman CEO post after a year

Gain ends nearly six-year run with Edelman to join Amazon's Audible

Gain ends nearly six-year run with Edelman to join Amazon’s Audible








Iain Twine, Edelman South East Asia and Australasia CEO claimed that the reason for the leadership shakeup was that the business required an “Edelman veteran” at the helm.

“Tim has been a great part of the business for the number of months he’s been with us,” he said. “But with these changes we want to have an Edelman veteran in charge and that’s what we’ve done.”

“We changed what we were looking for in our business and the other changes, with Matt and his amazing job, so I wanted to look at it slightly differently and that’s what we’ve done”

Riches’ resignation is effective immediately.

Twine said Spurr “knows the business like the back of his hand”, having worked his way up from the Edelman graduate program.

“Steve a 17-year-old Edelman veteran. He’s been around the traps, he’s worked with us in Sydney, New York and in London. We’re really excited about him joining,” he said.

Twine will be covering the CEO role until Spurr officially joins in March next year.

The resignation of Riches coincides with Gain announcing his departure from the agency after nearly six years to accept the head of operations Australia and NZ role at Amazon’s audio book brand Audible

Gain has been with Edelman since May 2010, joining from Weber Shandwick as head of digital communications before being promoted to director of consumer brand and digital marketing in October 2011. He was then made general manager of the Sydney office in September 2013 before being promoted to COO in October last year.

“The opportunity at Audible came up and I grabbed it. It was my own decision, it wasn’t forced upon me,” said Gain, rejecting the notion his decision had been linked with the change in management.

“It feels like the right time. The opportunity to work with Audible is phenomenal. It’s an interesting, fascinating business that’s growing and I wanted to be part of it.”

He joins Audible in January.

Edwards joins Edelman as MD of Edelman Digital

Edwards joins Edelman as MD of Edelman Digital

Brett returns to to Australia to take on the GM of consumer marketing role at Edelman

Brett returns to to Australia to take on Edelman’s GM of consumer marketing role

Adding to the staff changes, Edelman has hired Lowe Profero SE Asia & Hong Kong MD Stuart Edwards to head up its digital business and London-based Talk PR’s board director Belinda Brett as general manager of consumer marketing.

“Leaving wasn’t an easy decision for me, but it felt like everyone was in place with the new hires of Stuart and Belinda, it was the right time,” said Gain.

Edelman clients – which include Audi, Telstra, Samsung, Coles, KFC and Adobe – have been informed of the changes.

“They’re not really worried. There’s not much of an issue. The business is doing well, it’s on track. We’re winning awards and doing great work, the business is old enough and ugly enough to wish Matt well and get on with it,” said Twine.

Miranda Ward


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