BRUSSELS, July 6, 2016 – Burson-Marsteller, a leading global strategic communications and public relations firm, today announced that Geoff McDonald, the former Global VP of HR for Marketing, Communications, Sustainability and Global Talent at Unilever, has joined Burson-Marsteller as a Senior Advisor on Corporate Purpose and Organisational Change. Geoff will be working together with a team of Burson-Marsteller consultants, including the leaders of the Corporate Purpose and Change Practices, to help companies and organisations embed corporate purpose as a driver of business performance.

Geoff previously spent 25 years with Unilever, working closely with CEO Paul Polman and Keith Weed, Chief Marketing, Communications and Sustainability Officer in implementing the company’s strategy of doubling growth while reducing their environmental footprint and enhancing their social impact, and in so doing transforming Unilever’s business model to one that delivers performance with purpose at its core.

“Burson-Marsteller has been working on the theme of corporate purpose since 2008. We believe that companies with an authentic corporate purpose, that guides both business decisions and communications, have a real competitive advantage. Our research with IMD business school shows that a strong and well communicated corporate purpose can impact financial performance by up to 17%. In addition, it also strengthens a company at times of change and crisis, by providing a common vision around which to rally its key stakeholders and engage its employees. We are delighted to welcome Geoff to our team and look forward to further strengthening our leadership in this area,” said Jeremy Galbraith, Chief Executive Officer of Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East & Africa.

“Business in collaboration with all its stakeholders has the power to change the world. It is therefore of critical importance that corporations understand their purpose, beyond growth and profitability, and use it as the driver of true business performance. This is what I have learned first-hand at Unilever and I am very excited to work together with a great team at Burson-Marsteller to advise and assist their clients to become more purpose driven. Our very volatile and anxious world desperately needs this,” said Geoff McDonald.

“Having a corporate purpose that guides business strategy plays a fundamental role in how you are perceived as a company, as the Unilever example shows” said Katarina Wallin Bureau, Chief Operating Officer of Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East & Africa. “Helping companies think differently about why they do what they do, and how they communicate this, is central to our advice to clients. I am looking forward to working with Geoff on helping businesses communicate their broader role in society.”


About Burson-Marsteller
Burson-Marsteller, established in 1953, is a leading global strategic communications and public relations firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, advertising and digital strategies. The firm’s seamless worldwide network consists of 73 offices and 85 affiliate offices, together operating in 110 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Group, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), the world’s leader in communications services. For more information, please visit

Katarina Wallin Bureau
COO, Burson-Marsteller EMEA
+32 2 7436608