Over the years, communications marketing group Edelman has received takeover offers from other companies. Yet despite the allure of a potential merger or acquisition, the global firm has chosen to stay independent — a decision that its CEO considers a wise move.
“The best thing [we did] is not to sell out to one of the big advertising holding companies, because we were able to diversify, and also hang on during recessions and not make any money, and invest in the next leg of growth,” Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman, told CNBC’s Karen Tso on an episode of “What Drives You.”
In 1952, a few years before Richard was born, the public relations firm that he now heads was launched in Chicago by his father Daniel Edelman. Fast-forward to 2018 and the group remains an independent, family-owned business that has collaborated with a whole host of companies including LEGO, Unilever, Heineken and Dove.
In fact, it was a world that Richard was immersed into from a very young age.
Speaking to CNBC at this year’s Cannes Lions festival in the south of France, Edelman said that his father “wasn’t shy about bringing clients home,” giving Richard the opportunity to meet the likes of Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Colonel Harland Sanders and Orville Redenbacher, famous for his eponymous popcorn brand.