Nov 27, 2023 - Business

Scoop: One Strategy Group expands its leadership team, names Brian Ellner as president

Photo of Brian Ellner

Photo courtesy of One Strategy Group

Brian Ellner has departed BCW and WPP to join the corporate strategy firm One Strategy Group as president, Axios exclusively learned.

Why it matters: Ellner is the latest big hire for One Strategy Group, which recently added Terri Burns, a former partner at Google Ventures, as a strategic advisor and BCW and The Economist alum Sophie Coblence as executive vice president.

Catch up quick: Ellner most recently led U.S. public affairs at WPP and served as executive vice president of growth and marketing at BCW.

  • He previously served stints at Edelman, The Human Rights Campaign and the NYC Department of Education.

Details: One Strategy Group was founded in late 2022 by David Meadvin, who formerly led executive communications at Citadel and Bloomberg, and held a senior communications role at Meta.

  • "There's a new generation of c-suite leaders and heads of communications looking for genuine thought partners to help them navigate through uncertainty," Meadvin told Axios.
  • "We're fortunate for the opportunity to bring on world-class talent like Brian, who has extensive experience managing the connected worlds of media, communications, politics, and government."

State of play: The agency landscape is shifting as larger PR conglomerates endure economic constraints, which have led to multiple rounds of layoffs across the industry.

  • This has created more opportunity for smaller strategic communications firms to scoop up top talent and new business opportunities.

Plus, the needs of business leaders are quickly changing.

  • "Leaders are facing an ongoing, unique set of challenges — being asked to weigh in on everything from a global health crisis, to climate change, reproductive freedoms, social justice issues, and as of late, war. These are very complicated issues that require smart, experienced strategic communication counsel," Ellner told Axios.

What he's saying: "I've had a front row seat these last many years between Edelman, BCW and WPP, and I've seen how much the industry has been changing," Ellner said.

  • "This gives me the opportunity, with all I know about the industry and clients, to start from a blank page and reimagine everything from how we deliver for clients, to who and how we hire and the overall the employee experience."
Go deeper