The Harris Poll, a leading public opinion, corporate, brand and reputation strategy firm, today appointed a new executive management team. John Gerzema and Will Johnson will become co- Chief Executive Officers.  Mark Penn, Managing Partner of The Stagwell Group, will become Chairman. Jonathan Gardner will serve as Chief Operating Officer.

Previously, Gerzema and Johnson were senior executives at Young & Rubicam Group. Gerzema was Chairman/CEO and Johnson was President at BAV Consulting which oversees BrandAsset Valuator, the world’s largest analytic survey of brands and consumer behavior.

“We’re thrilled to have John and Will take the reins at Harris and build an incredible leadership team,” said Mark Penn, Managing Partner of the Stagwell Group. “John and Will bring unparalleled expertise in branding and strategy as well as twenty-first century analytics and insights to a legendary public opinion and market research firm.”

“I am excited to join Harris and the larger Stagwell Group family,” said John Gerzema. “Harris is a trusted source of insights and intelligence for leaders navigating a marketplace, culture and society in a time of radical transformation. We have one of the most admired communities of clients and colleagues who are united in the mission of making sense of a world that is moving faster than ever before.”

Jonathan Gardner joins Harris from Washington, DC public affairs firm Subject Matter where he served as COO. Previously he served as COO of market research firm Penn Schoen Berland.

“Jonathan will be a first-rate operations executive and I am confident he will help Harris achieve what clients require at speed and scale,” said Penn.

One of the world’s most admired polling and strategy firms, Harris Insights & Analytics has conducted polling for Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan and companies such as FedEx, IBM, Amazon, General Mills, MasterCard, Chevron and Ford. Harris joined the Stagwell Group in December, 2016. It is part of expanding portfolio of companies including strategic communications firm SKDKnickerbocker, entertainment research firm National Research Group (NRG), creative digital firm Code and Theory, and integrated performance-driven global marketing firm PMX Agency.




About The Stagwell Group

The Stagwell Group LLC is a registered investment advisory company formed by Mark Penn who serves as the Managing Partner of Stagwell Media LLC, a private equity fund. The Stagwell Group portfolio includes more than a dozen collaborative, digital-first agencies. The fund previously announced it has raised $250 million in capital and may leverage that to make up to $750 million in acquisitions. Online at


About The Harris Poll

The Harris Poll is one of the world’s leading public opinion, market research and strategy firms. Harris offers proprietary solutions in market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy and marketing, advertising, public relations, societal trends and consumer experience research across industries. With award-winning research design and expert social scientists and strategists, Harris brings 21st century analytics to our clients’ biggest challenges. Founded in 1963, Harris has guided leaders through transformational social change. Harris advisory served Presidents Kennedy and Reagan as well as President Clinton and Prime Minister Blair under pollster Mark Penn, founder of The Stagwell Group (and Harris’ parent company).  Harris works with Fortune 500 clients such as: FedEx, IBM, Amazon, General Mills, MasterCard, Chevron and The Ford Motor Company. Online at


About The Harris Poll®

Over the last five decades, Harris Polls have become media staples around the world.  Weekly polls tap into a representative sample of Americans of all ages, genders, income and ethnicity. From sports to health, politics to the economy, the Harris Poll reflects Americans’ opinions on a wide range of topics and social issues and are regularly published by national, local, consumer, business and trade media. The Harris Poll® offers a diverse portfolio of proprietary client solutions to anchor and propel communications campaigns.  Armed with relevant insights on public opinion, public and private sector clients harness the power of the Harris Poll to gain both credibility and coverage to drive their desired business outcomes.


About the New Management

John Gerzema is CEO of The Harris Poll, one of the world’s leading public opinion, market research and strategy firms. John is a pioneer in the use of data to identify social change and help leaders and organizations anticipate and adapt to new trends and demands. An author, strategist, speaker and consultant, his books are on the bestseller and critics ‘best of’ lists of The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Bloomberg and FAST COMPANY and his writing and opinions have appeared in NYTFTThe Economist, NPR, Forbes, Quartz, McKinsey, HBR, WIRED among others.  An expert in leadership and management of social change, John was named among the “Top Management Articles of the Decade” by Strategy & Business and his TED talks are widely viewed. As a Distinguished Fellow with The Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard, he is also a passionate advocate for Women and Girls and serves as board advisor to The U.N Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign, University of The People, The Weizmann Institute for Science and on the board of The National Kidney Foundation. Previously Global Chief Insights Officer at Young & Rubicam and CEO of WPP’s BAV Consulting, John is among “The Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business” and “Must-Follow Marketing Minds on Twitter” by Forbes Magazine. A noted researcher, John presented his findings on gender inequality in media and the workplace at The World Economic Forum in 2017 and designed an analytic model with The Wharton School for US News & World Report “Best Countries” rankings. John is in The Medill Hall of Achievement at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. His latest book, The Athena Doctrine, with Pulitzer-Prize winner Michael D’Antonio explores the rise of feminine values in leadership, policy and innovation. Tom Peters says, “The Athena Doctrine is a powerful book. Extraordinary research. Great storytelling. A message both timely and of monumental importance.”

Will Johnson is CEO of The Harris Poll, one of the world’s leading public opinion, market research and strategy firms. He previously served as President of BAV Consulting, a Young & Rubicam Group Company, and Chief Strategist of BrandAsset Valuator, the world’s largest study of brands and model of consumer/brand behavior. A frequent contributor to Forbes, NPR, CNN, Politico among others, Will is among the nation’s leading content marketing innovators, having developed New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling books as well as numerous articles and papers for Harvard Business ReviewStrategy & Business and Fast Company. He presented at the World Economic Forum in 2016, releasing “Best Countries” a rating of eighty nations against twenty-thousand elites, business people and citizens in partnership with U.S. News & World Report and The Wharton School. Will holds a Masters in Business Administrations from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Lafayette College.

Jonathan Gardner is Chief Operating Officer of Harris Insights & Analytics, one of the world’s leading public opinion, market research and strategy firms known widely for The Harris Poll®. Jonathan specializes in organizational design, transformation and implementation. Previously, Jonathan served as COO of Subject Matter, a public affairs firm and, prior to that, in a variety of leadership roles at political and corporate consultancy research agency Penn Schoen Berland.  Jonathan began his career in communications working for the Director of Speechwriting at The White House during the Clinton Administration. Jonathan attained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston University and a Master of Science degree from Georgetown University.

Annie Prunsky

Annie Prunsky

Director of Marketing