Mark Penn leaves CEO post at Burson-Marsteller

He’s taking a strategy job at Microsoft. Donald A. Baer will replace as chief executive of the global PR firm.

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After six years as CEO of the PR firm, Penn will join Microsoft—a longtime client of the WPP-owned Burson-Marsteller (B-M)—as vice president of strategic and special projects. He’ll report to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

“Mark has an incredible background in research, demographics, marketing and positioning and a proven history in developing unique insights that drive success,” Ballmer said in a press release. “With a strong set of products and an exciting pipeline for the next year, Mark’s experience and out-of-the-box thinking will help us more effectively reach new consumers and grow market share.”

Penn was named CEO of B-M in 2006. At the time, B-M had shuffled through three chief executives in five years and experienced a decline in fee income, according to The Holmes Report. Under Penn’s watch, the firm’s fee income is expected to reach nearly $500 million this year.

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