Burson-Marsteller has announced that Margaret Key will take over as CEO, Asia-Pacific. Prema Sagar, Principal and Founder of Genesis Burson-Marsteller, will take on the additional title of Vice Chair, Asia-Pacific. Key is based in Hong Kong, and Sagar is based in New Delhi.
Key succeeds Terri-Helen Gaynor, who has resigned from the company for personal and family reasons. Sagar succeeds Patrick Ford, who has moved back to the U.S. and continues as a Burson-Marsteller Worldwide Vice Chair and its Global Chief Client Officer. Both Sagar and Key report to Worldwide Chair and CEO Donald A. Baer, and they join Burson-Marsteller’s Global Senior Leadership Team.
“Margaret Key is an outstanding professional who is highly respected throughout Burson-Marsteller, among our top clients and across the entire communications sector, and we are thrilled she will now lead Burson-Marsteller’s Asia-Pacific region to new levels of success,” said Baer. “Throughout Margaret’s two decades of experience in public relations, she has provided expert counsel to governments and multinational companies, while steadily taking on greater leadership responsibilities. I am extremely confident she will bring great talent to leading our continued growth throughout Asia-Pacific and to attracting and developing the brightest talent in the field. We are fortunate to have her as a new member of our Global Leadership Team.”
Key had served as Chief Operating Officer for Asia-Pacific for the past year and was acting Hong Kong Market Leader until earlier this year. She joined Burson-Marsteller in 2010 as Korea Market Leader, having previously served in senior roles at Edelman in Japan, Korea and Hong Kong. Her expertise spans a range of industry sectors including technology, healthcare and automotive, as well as international corporate affairs. Following her appointment as Market Leader, Burson-Marsteller Korea experienced tremendous growth, doubling in size and growing its impressive roster of clients to include globally recognized brands in the automotive, healthcare, entertainment and technology industries. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and English from Wofford College, and her Master’s Degree in International Relations, Policy of International Cooperation, from Yonsei University in Korea.
As Vice Chair of the region, Sagar will continue in her current role with Genesis Burson-Marsteller and tap her extensive experience as a senior advisor to Key and the firm’s Asia-Pacific Leadership Team. Sagar is renowned as one of India’s most respected communications professionals. She founded Genesis Burson-Marsteller in 1992 at the advent of the economic reforms in India with just one client and one colleague. It is recognized today as India’s most trusted public relations and public affairs firm. She has served in a variety of leadership roles in the industry, as the Founding President of the Public Relations Consultants Association of India, Council Member for India of the International Public Relations Association and as a member of the global Board of Management of the International Communication Consultancies Organisation. In 2015 Sagar was ranked 18 on IMPACT magazine’s list honoring the leadership and work of 50 trailblazing female professionals in the media, advertising and marketing industries in India and is the only public relations professional on the list. In 2001, Sagar established the Genesis Foundation, a trust created to provide access to world-class medical care for abandoned and underprivileged children facing life-threatening ailments.
“Prema Sagar is one of the most respected communications professionals in the world and has long been among our most valued leaders and colleagues, having built one of India’s top firms from the ground up,” Baer said. “Prema will serve as a trusted senior advisor to Margaret Key and our other regional leaders across the Asia-Pacific region, where we have 18 owned offices and 11 affiliate relationships. Asia-Pacific is a cornerstone of our overall growth strategy, and the leadership team of Margaret Key and Prema Sagar will be great for this crucial region.”