John Larsen

John Larsen


Senior Counsel

John specializes in reputation counsel, issues management, and crisis response. He works primarily with boards, CEOs, and corporate C-suites on governance and public policy challenges.

Professional History

John specializes in reputation counsel, issues management, and crisis response. He works primarily with boards, CEOs, and corporate C-suites on governance and public policy challenges.

Before joining Argyle as Senior Counsel, John was Executive Vice-President and General Manager with one of the world’s largest public relations firms.  He has served as an executive in three international PR consulting companies, was one of two partners in Global Public Affairs, Canada’s leading government relations firm, and was the founder of Corpen Group, Canada’s largest independent critical communications firm. He is also the Founder and Principal of his firm, Zero Hour Strategy.

Beyond his extensive consulting experience, John has also held executive-level positions with the military, in the corporate sector, and with various orders of government. He holds two graduate degrees, in communications and journalism, and two post-graduate certificates in leadership, from Harvard and Cornell.  In 2012 John was awarded the International Association of Business Communications (IABC) ‘Master Communicator’ designation, the highest honour in the public relations profession.  He is an accredited United Nations ‘International Observatory Expert’ in security-communications and has consulted on communications projects around the globe.

John offers proven expertise in designing and implementing complex reputation recovery and brand repositioning campaigns and in supporting boards on matters of oversight risk.  Over a 30-year career, he has worked with thousands of organizations and coached hundreds of leaders.  He is a nationally recognized expert in executive media training and strategic issues management.  John’s integrated crisis strategies have proven successful globally and across many corporate and government clients.

John focuses most of his consulting on reputation risk and issues management, underpinned by a firm understanding of corporate communications imperatives and brand equity.  He has written extensively for national newspapers and academic journals and has edited various books. He is working on his latest book In the Room – Perspectives on Leadership in an Age of Crises.

Beyond his core employment, John has managed various political campaigns and served 34 years with the Canadian Forces, retiring at the executive rank of Naval Captain.  He has taught at four Canadian colleges and universities and chaired the advisory board for the Public Relations Program at Mount Royal University.  He has sat on numerous philanthropy, community, and post-secondary boards.  He sits on the Glenbow Board of Governors and is a national director of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council.  In 2014 John was designated as a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D).

John is a certified Divemaster and an avid motorcycle rider and expedition-cycling.  He is a citizen of both Canada and the European Union and enjoys off-the-beaten-track travels.  He has one son.

Area of Expertise

  • Reputation Counsel
  • Crisis Response
  • Boards, CEOs and Corporate C-suites Issues Management


  • Principal, Zero Hour Strategy
  • Executive Vice President, National Practice Lead - Crisis & Reputation Risk, Edelman
  • Senior Vice President, Global Public Affairs
  • Instructor, Mount Royal University
  • President/Owner, Corpen Group, Inc
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