Sharon Murphy is to become the chief executive of PR agency Wilson Hartnell (WHPR) at the start of April. She will succeed Brian Bell who is stepping down after more than a decade in the position. Bell, a former business editor of the Irish Press, will continue to be involved with the Ogilvy group as non-executive chairman of O&M.
She also succeeds Mary Finan and Roddy Guiney in the agency’s CEO role.
A native of Mallow, Murphy joined Wilson Hartnell in 2000 and has run the agency’s consumer division since 2008. She was appointed deputy CEO in September 2016 and is a former chairman of the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA). She is also a former board member of the International Communications Consultants Organisation (2015 – 2017).
She was named in the PR Week top PR professionals in its Global Power Book 2016.
Murphy’s appointment follows other recent reshuffles at WHPR, including former Diageo executive Peter O’Brien joining as WHPR’s head of corporate and public affairs in place of Sheila Gahan, who remains on as a part-time consultant to a number of WH clients. Amy Pilgrim and Sarah O’Connor were promoted to the agency board.