Bob Priest-Heck Named CEO of Freeman
For the first time in Freeman’s 90-year history, a non-family member was named its fourth CEO – Bob Priest-Heck.
“We are focused on building our clients’ brands and helping them succeed in a dynamic environment by creating meaningful brand experiences that help build relationships and drive clear and measurable outcomes,” said Joe Popolo, CEO of The Freeman Company, the newly created parent company that encompasses Freeman, Encore Event Technologies and Alford Media.
He added, “Bob is no stranger to this, having previously served as the president of Freeman. He has a history of driving success for our company and our clients, and his commitment to innovation and vision for our future will help keep us at the forefront of the brand experience conversation for years to come.
With Priest-Heck at the helm, Freeman is well-positioned to deliver increased audience engagement and business results for its global customer base — through strategic planning and creative design reinforced by complete logistics support for some of the world’s largest events, according to Freeman officials.
His focus on new technologies has helped bolster Freeman’s offerings to meet the ever-evolving needs of companies looking to create the most meaningful and innovative brand experiences.
“In addition to his CEO role at Freeman, Bob will serve as president and chief operating officer of The Freeman Company,” Popolo said.
Priest-Heck joined Freeman in 2011 with the acquisition of Wheelhouse Solutions.
He has spent the past 25 years leading global technology brands and experiential marketing agencies — including Immersa Marketing and MediaLive International Inc. — and continues to parlay his experience into his strategies and initiatives at Freeman.
For example, he is credited with leading the charge to transform Freeman into a design-driven company, bringing on industry luminary Bruce Mau as chief design officer and ultimately creating the Freeman Design Leadership Council.
He also was instrumental in the development and launch of Freeman’s creative and strategic agency services arm, as well as in creating Freeman Digital Ventures.
“Bob encourages the kind of strategic risk-taking that continues to help Freeman achieve its long-term goals, and he constantly inspires those around him to learn and innovate at every turn. He is fully committed to our Freeman employees and to fostering an environment that aligns with our core company values of integrity, empathy, innovation, enthusiasm and performance excellence,” Popolo said.
He added, “Looking forward, our clients and employees will quickly realize that they’re in great hands with Bob and the Freeman leadership team. Having previously worked with Freeman while at MediaLive, SoftBank and Ziff-Davis, Bob is able to offer unique customer-focused insights and perspectives, enabling us to best serve our clients.”