St. John provides counsel to Chinese and foreign companies on matters related to public affairs, issue and crisis management, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, and long-term corporate reputation management. He has been based in Beijing since 1999 and through that time has worked with a wide variety of foreign companies operating in China and Chinese companies going global.
St. John joined Brunswick in 2008 following seven years at APCO Worldwide where he advised foreign multinationals on investment, public affairs, government engagement, and corporate communications issues across China.
St. John has extensive hands-on experience advising on technology, media, and telecom issues as well as natural resources sector. He is a key author and driver of Brunswick’s government and policy analysis.
Recent issue and crisis counsel includes high profile environmental incidents; multi-jurisdictional product recalls; food and safety recalls; anti-corruption investigations; intellectual property litigation; bankruptcy and criminal matters; class action cross-border lawsuits; and corporate espionage matters. He has advised on Chinese companies going global, including the acquisition of key assets and integration matters, as well as foreign companies acquiring assets in China.
For the past 25 years, Bob has led communications teams at some of the most important brands in media and technology.
He was vice president of international media for Alibaba Group, based in the company’s San Francisco office. He oversaw the company’s global media reach and initially joined the team that launched Alibaba’s IPO in 2014. At the time, it was the largest IPO in history raising $25bn for Alibaba.
Prior to joining Alibaba, Bob served as the head of communications for The New York Times Company and Dow Jones & Company, owner of the Wall Street Journal. At both companies, he advised respective management teams on long-term business plans and communications strategies. Additionally, he played leading roles in both companies’ digital transformation and consumer adoption of digital media and pay models.
Joining The New York Times Company in 2010, he is widely credited for the successful launch of its paywalls and developed communications strategies that directly led to the company paying-off its high interest rate debt to Carlos Slim.
Bob joined Sony Electronics in 1999 and was part of the team that championed the adoption of HDTV and HD production. His career began in 1990 at The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences where he served in several communications roles.