Mike Coates becomes chairman and adds global responsibilities; Goldy Hyder appointed president

TORONTO, ON – December 13, 2012 – Hill+Knowlton Strategies Canada (H+K), the country’s top-ranked government relations and PR firm, today announced a new leadership structure at its helm.

Mike Coates, currently president and CEO, remains CEO but also becomes chairman of the company. In addition, he recently assumed oversight responsibility for Hill+Knowlton Strategies Australia and will continue to take on special projects on a global basis. Goldy Hyder, currently general manager of H+K’s Ottawa office, is promoted to president, reporting to Coates. These changes will be effective January 1, 2013.

Under Coates’ leadership, H+K has become one of the largest communications, PR and government relations consultancies in the country, with nine offices across Canada. Under his leadership, the firm has grown and contributed significantly to the revenue and profits of parent company Hill+Knowlton Strategies Inc., which is owned by WPP Ltd. Coates was the architect behind diversifying H+K’s services, including this year’s new offerings in public engagement, emergency response and campaign strategy.

“I’ve led H+K for almost 18 years and it will continue to be my No. 1 priority. However, the company is very well-positioned with a dynamic new generation of leaders who can keep the momentum of H+K Canada going, with Goldy as its leader. This change gives me the opportunity to continue to build the Canadian business, do the client work I love as well as better support our global organization.”

Hyder is a proven leader, growing the Ottawa office to the second-largest in Canada and one of the most profitable in the global H+K network.  Earlier this year, he oversaw the acquisition of Ascentum Inc., a public engagement specialist firm, into the Ottawa operations. Hyder, a native Albertan, served as the Rt. Honourable Joe Clark’s chief of staff prior to joining Hill+Knowlton in 2001.

“As general manager of the Ottawa office, Goldy built a strong team that has grown under his leadership,” said Coates. “He is a high performer who brings a unique balance of media-savvy and business and political sensibilities to this role. He has also proved himself a valued counsellor to his clients, a role he will continue to play.”

With this promotion, the company’s six general managers report into Hyder, who also assumes responsibility for sales, marketing and new business development in Canada.

“Hill+Knowlton is the most trusted communications and public affairs consultancy in Canada with the best talent in the industry,” said Hyder. “I am both honoured and humbled by the opportunity to help lead it as it embarks on new challenges in 2013.”

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