Weber Shandwick appoints Valerie Pinto to lead India operations

MUMBAI: Weber Shandwick has roped in Valerie Pinto to the role of chief executive, effective as of 1 January 2015.  Pinto will report to Weber Shandwick, Asia Pacific chairman Tim Sutton.


In her role, Pinto will have overriding responsibility for the firm’s business in India. Her appointment is part of a broader strategy to build on the agency’s best-in-class India team. She will also join Weber Shandwick’s Asia Pacific senior management board.


Vice Chairman, Atul Ahluwalia will continue in his role. Pinto partners Ahluwalia in Weber Shandwick’s India Leadership Council. The Council also includes managing director of client services, Dilip Yadav; deputy managing director, Carolina Bajaj, and executive vice president, operations, Mabel Phoon who will all report to Pinto. Yadav is also Managing Director, India of Weber Shandwick’s second brand, Creation.


Pinto brings over sixteen years’ experience in communications and reputation management, having previously led Perfect Relations, a leading independent public relations consultancy that gained strong momentum under her leadership in India.  During her distinguished career, she has led strategic counsel to a wide range of companies and executives across numerous industries. She has an outstanding track record in business growth and a particular reputation for effective talent management, having mentored many highly motivated and high performing professionals under her leadership.


Sutton said: “In the last few months, I have spoken to very many senior people in India – at agencies and clients, in media and business - for advice on the very best person to take our business in India to the next stage of market leadership. It was quite remarkable how many of them put Valerie at the very top of their ‘recommendation list’.  She is a class act with a legendary reputation.


“She had many other options at this stage of her career, including running her own business, and I am so thrilled that our vision and ambition have persuaded her to join Weber Shandwick.  This appointment signals our absolute determination to become the market leader in India.


“We are already blessed with a wonderful senior management team assembled by vice chairman Atul Ahluwalia.  They have made Weber Shandwick the most awarded agency in India.”


“I am very delighted to welcome Valerie to our team,” said Ahluwalia. “She brings huge experience and stature with her.”


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