Shanghai : Burson-Marsteller China today announced the appointment of David Zhao as Executive Vice President. With more than 20 years of experience in communications, Zhao joins the firm from Hill & Knowlton, where he served as Managing Director for China, co-leading the China operation and managing the Shanghai office. He will be based in Shanghai and will report to Burson-Marsteller China CEO and Market Leader Chris Deri.
“David is a well-recognized senior counselor and industry leader in China,” said Deri. “He has extensive experience in China and in many global markets, including Russia and Australia. I look forward to working with him to counsel existing clients and to pursue new business opportunities, particularly in response to the growing number of requests for counsel and support from multiple practices and geographies across China.”
In the newly-created position, Zhao will work across Burson-Marsteller China’s practice groups to provide senior client counsel, thought leadership, and input on talent development. He will help expand the firm’s client base and engagements, and collaborate with Deri to evaluate partnership and acquisition opportunities. In addition, Zhao will lead the Burson-Marsteller China Crisis Group (B-M CCG) in partnership with the firm’s top crisis practitioners, including seasoned crisis counselor, Douglas Dew, Managing Director for Public Affairs. In this role, Zhao will develop expand the firm’s external crisis training and preparedness offering and relevant products. Burson-Marsteller has a well-respected reputation in issues and crisis management both globally and in China, and the B-M CCG is staffed by a cross-office and cross-practice team of crisis experts.
“I am delighted to join Burson-Marsteller China’s team of talented public relations, public affairs and government relations professionals,” said Zhao. “I look forward to working with the company’s excellent leaders and to using my experience and connections to contribute to the firm’s capabilities and client base in China.”
An accomplished veteran in corporate and marketing communications, Zhao combines his wealth of international experience with local knowledge to provide strategic counsel to multinational and Chinese clients across a wide range of industries, including technology, finance, energy, media and consumer. Prior to heading Hill & Knowlton’s Shanghai office in 2004, Zhao excelled as Director of Hill & Knowlton’s Technology Practice in Beijing. His professional background includes in-house marketing and communications roles at Coca-Cola and Bausch & Lomb and overseas postings in Russia and Australia.
Zhao holds an MBA in Marketing from Griffith University in Australia, and a BA in Literature from Hangzhou Normal University. He is one of the founding partners of the Marketing Group of China and a member of Western Returned Scholars’ Association.