Teneo, a struggling PR firm, chooses Ursula Burns as the new chair


Teneo has appointed former Xerox boss Ursula Burns as its new chair, as the public relations firm is committed to reassuring its Fortune 500 customers following the resignation of its long-term boss accusations of misconduct.

His appointment Tuesday comes days after Declan Kelly, who co-founded the company in 2011, resigned as president and chief executive officer after the Financial Times revealed allegations that it had inappropriately touched six women at a May charity event.

Teneo was in the process of stabilizing later General Motors canceled a recently signed contract from $ 250,000 a month in response, raising fears of a mass exodus of other important customers, as well as staff worried about the company’s future.

Kelly, who had initially planned to hold office, resigned last week and said in a statement that she had made “a public and embarrassing mistake for which I have taken full responsibility and I apologize to those directly affected, such as ‘It’s for my colleagues and clients.’

Kelly’s departure came just seven months later starting with Doug Band, a former aide to U.S. President Bill Clinton, with whom he launched the business.

Burns, who is a rare African-American business leader in the United States and sits on boards including ExxonMobil and Uber, has worked as a senior advisor to Teneo since 2017 after resigning from Xerox.

After the allegations came to light, Burns told the New York Times: “This is a friend of mine who has definitely had a bad accident – and he’s going to deal with it, and he’s going to deal with it as we go along. “. The duo is in the process of raising funds for a private equity firm called Integrum that they launched together April with two other companions.


“I have a deep understanding of the business, the needs of its customers, and a sincere appreciation for all of Teneo’s top professionals in the world,” Burns said in a statement.

Paul Keary, another Teneo co-founder who was appointed chief executive last week, said in an internal note announcing Burns’ appointment: “I realize that recent events have been difficult for everyone.”

He added: “I was incredibly encouraged by the support we received from so many customers and acquaintances.”

Teneo’s shares have also put pressure on private equity group CVC Capital Partners, which has invested at least $ 450 million in the company since it became its majority shareholder in 2019.

Christopher Stadler, head of CVC’s North American business, oversees Teneo’s investment and is also co-chair of Global Citizen, the charity group that held the Vax Live concert on May 2 where the alleged lead Kelly’s impropriety took place.

Teneo is billed as the world’s number one CEO with a list of clients including Coca-Cola, General Electric and Tesco. Following the conclusion of an agreement to acquire Deloitte’s UK restructuring business last month, the company employs 1,250 people and has raised close to $ 400 million.

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