Edelman Runs Into Trouble Over Russia Restructure

Edelman has restructured its management team and employee lineup in Russia, prompting push back from Russia’s Solidarity trade union.

The firm’s Moscow office will now focus on practice areas including technology, consumer, and healthcare. Kerry Irwin, who’s worked in the Russian PR industry for more than a decade, has been appointed general director of the Moscow office. Irwin takes over from Veronica Moihseeva, who sold her firm Imageland to Edelman in 2008 and had been working there ever since.

Natalya Malyova has been hired as SVP in charge of the tech and digital practices. And Svetlana Plotnitskaya, who has been with the firm for 14 years, has been named SVP.

The office has also laid off 11 of its 55 staffers.

A spokesperson from the Solidarity union says eight Edelman staffers have formed a union and another five will join. Legal action is planned. Solidarity claims that the laid off workers were “threatened,” an accusation that Edelman’s EMEA CEO Robert Phillips calls “ridiculous.”

“Edelman has been fully compliant throughout this process, will remain fully compliant, and is committed to transparency in everything we say and do,” he told The Holmes Report.