Lyle Closs


I consult with PR agencies to review and improve their efficiency and profitability, and train managers and teams on the business aspects of PR agency life.

My experience covers all aspects of agency and in-house communications leadership across Europe and Asia with Ogilvy PR and Cohn & Wolfe, and with clients like IBM, Dell, Nokia and ZTE.

I have worked with small and medium-sized agencies in EMEA and Asia both pre- and post-acquisition to prepare for and manage their integration into major conglomerates and maximise earn-out success.

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Individual Member PRCA


I am currently advising agencies in London and Thailand on aspects of their business development, structure and strategic planning.

In 2015-2016 I worked with global PR agency Cohn & Wolfe as APAC COO helping recent acquisitions to better structure for success. In that time Cohn & Wolfe also acquired Six Degrees PR in India, opened a new office in Guangzhou, and achieved double digit revenue growth and healthy margin growth across the region.

From 2001 to 2014 I was COO/MD Europe for technology agency AxiCom, including through their acquisition by WPP/Cohn & Wolfe. AxiCom had consistent revenue and margin growth, and played a major part in the growth of Cohn & Wolfe EMEA post acquisition.

PR Agency Operations - I moved into PR agency operations with AxiCom in 2001, building on my experience at Ogilvy PR of leading the IBM EMEA agency network, a major element of which was managing finances, contracts and agency/client relationships.

Client management - I have led clients of all sizes with a strong focus on the technology sector, including managing the IBM EMEA account for five years at Ogilvy PR, and the ZTE EMEA account at AxiCom for 10 years. I have also worked in-house for Volvo, Sage and VoIP developer Callserve.

Creativity - Creativity is the heart of every agency and I have always contributed to the creative life of agencies I worked with. In Q2 2016 I won the quarterly Cohn & Wolfe award for Best Creative Contributions to the global ideas network.

Writing - An ex-journalist, I drive the highest standards in all content development. I was managing editor of Dell’s daily global employee newsletter for the six years to 2014.


COO, Asia-Pacific, Cohn & Wolfe 01/15 - 06/09/16
Led the region for 15 months, between regional President appointments, achieving double-digit revenue growth region-wide and strong margin improvement. Advised acquired regional agencies pre- and post-acquisition.

Managing Director, Europe, AxiCom (division of Cohn & Wolfe) 03/01 - 12/14
Led operations and mainland European offices from 2001 to 2014 when AxiCom grew from 40 to 100 employees, from £4m to over £10m revenue, and from single digit to 30+% margins

Marketing Director, Callserve Communications 02/00 - 02/01
Joined after first round of funding. Developed company branding and design guidelines, website, marketing materials; managed partner, marketing and PR managers

Managing Director, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, UK 08/95 - 02/00
Managed IBM EMEA agency network of 32 agencies for up to 24 separate IBM business units. As MD UK, increased agency margin from low single digits to 20+ percent and moved employee survey ‘happy to work for Ogilvy’ from 25 percent to 100 percent in two years

Associate Director - Lexicon Communications - IBM and other tech clients 08/93 - 08/95

PR Manager - The Sage Group, UK - software 03/92 - 08/93

Journalism and in-house and agency PR and marcoms 1979 - 1991