AnnaMaria DeSalva

Global Chairman

AnnaMaria DeSalva is the global chairman of Burson and is also a member of the Executive Committee of parent company WPP plc, the creative transformation company.

More About AnnaMaria DeSalva

AnnaMaria DeSalva is the global chairman of the Burson Group, the global communications leader purpose-built to create value for clients through reputation. She is also a member of the Executive Committee of parent company WPP plc, the creative transformation company.

From June 2019 and until the creation of Burson through the merger of BCW and Hill & Knowlton in July 2024, AnnaMaria served as global chairman and CEO of Hill & Knowlton, one of the world's foremost strategic communications firms with more than 70 offices across nearly 40 markets globally. During her tenure, she led the company through a period of rapid development and renewal, expanding advisory services, creative and technology capabilities, and leadership in major industrial sectors such as technology, healthcare and energy and industrials. In 2023, Hill & Knowlton completed a comprehensive rebranding, resetting service offerings to reflect its growth and its evolving role in strategic transformation. Hill & Knowlton continues to operate as a major brand within the Burson group of companies, which includes flagship company Burson, GCI Health, Axicom, and Burson Buchanan, in addition to Hill & Knowlton.

Previously, AnnaMaria served as Chief Communications Officer of DuPont, and subsequently as a senior advisor to Ed Breen, the CEO of DowDuPont, as he advanced the separation and launch of new independent public companies. During her tenure, AnnaMaria restructured the communications function, establishing new standards and protocols to reduce reputation risk and improve performance, while ensuring the company successfully navigated a series of special situations demanding highly sensitive and effective public strategies, including a proxy battle with an activist shareholder; a CEO transition; and the $130 billion merger of equals with Dow leading to the subsequent break-up and creation of three new industry-leading companies.​

Before joining DuPont, AnnaMaria spent five years as a vice president of corporate affairs at Pfizer, where she was initially dedicated to the integration of the $68 billion acquisition of Wyeth, with a focus on the newly combined innovation engine. She focused on efforts to improve R&D productivity and reputation as a member of the R&D leadership team and the Portfolio Strategy and Investment Committee – repositioning the company, building investor confidence, and centering the culture on mission and purpose. When she left Pfizer in 2014, she was the head of the corporate affairs effort spanning communications, policy, and government affairs for the innovative core of the company.​

Earlier, she served as the global healthcare practice leader at Hill & Knowlton and GCI Group, both WPP companies, delivering significant revenue growth for each firm. While serving in this role, the Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration appointed AnnaMaria as a special advisor to the Agency for risk communication. Previously at Bristol-Myers Squibb, she led international public affairs in oncology, working principally in Europe, and later became director of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation.​

AnnaMaria has spent seven years on the boards of Fortune 500 companies, most recently as a member of the board of directors of RXO [NYSE: RXO], a leading technology enabled brokered transportation provider, where she chaired the Nominating, Governance, and Sustainability Committee. She previously served as vice chairman of the board of directors of XPO Logistics [NYSE: XPO], where she completed more than five years of board service on November 1, 2022, when XPO spun out RXO and she joined the inaugural RXO board. In September 2022, she completed seven years of service on the Board of Governors of Argonne National Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy. In December 2022, Governor Glenn Youngkin of Virginia appointed AnnaMaria to the Board of Visitors of William & Mary, her alma mater. AnnaMaria is a Trustee of the Committee for Economic Development of the Conference Board, a member of the Partnership for New York City, and a member of The Economic Club of New York.