Don Baer, Bill Clinton's one-time communications director and top speechwriter, was named worldwide CEO of Burson-Marsteller, the firm announced on Thursday morning.
Baer is succeeding Mark Penn who held the role since 2005 and is leaving to join Microsoft as corporate VP for strategic and special projects, according to a statement from Burson-Marsteller.
Baer has served as chairman of Burson-Marsteller's sister firm Penn Schoen Berland and will continue in that role.
In an email to the Alley, Baer emphasized that the moves were not part of a shake up, but rather "just a smooth changing of the guard as Mark goes to a great new job." He tells us:
Burson-Marsteller is one of the great strategic communications and public relations firms in the world and I could not be more honored to have the opportunity to lead its talented professionals and to build on the strong progress the firm has enjoyed since 2005 under Mark Penn. We are going to continue on the strong course we have been on as the most creative and effective ideas-driven, results-oriented strategic communications and public relations firm in the world.
Updated at 10:30 a.m.