Ketchum, a player in the public relations industry, announced that Rob Flaherty, Senior Partner and President, will also assume the role of Chief Executive Officer, effective July 1. Raymond L Kotcher, Senior Partner and CEO, will become Chairman of Ketchum.
This shift follows a multi-year plan designed to ensure a seamless management transition.
Flaherty, 52, joined Ketchum in 1989and was named president in 2008. He will continue to report to Kotcher. Over the course of his tenure Rob has been involved in all aspects of the firm including having successfully led its largest office (New York), one of its global practices (Corporate) and several of its largest client engagements. Flaherty has counselled client organisations and brands including IBM, FedEx, Philips and Pfizer.
Dale Adams, President and CEO of Omnicom’s Diversified Agency Services group (DAS) said, “As CEO, Ray developed the Ketchum brand into one of the most successful in the DAS group of companies and in the public relations sector. He champions a commitment to talent development, high-value client service and strengthened the creative product of the agency, which continually earns Ketchum an extraordinary record of awards and recognition. I have great respect for Ray’s leadership and many accomplishments and am pleased to have his continued commitment and involvement as Chairman.”
Adams continued, “Rob has a deep belief in the power of communications and its ability to affect change. I know that as CEO he will bring this passion to the firm, its people, clients and the industry and drive Ketchum’s continued success. I look forward to Rob taking on this role.”
Kotcher, 60, started at Ketchum in 1983, was appointed president of the agency in 1992, and in June 2000 was named CEO. As CEO, he transformed and grew the firm. In 2009 Kotcher led one of the public relations industry’s largest-ever mergers when Ketchum and Pleon combined operations to create the leading communications consultancy in Europe. Under his leadership, Ketchum’s geographic client-service footprint also grew in developing markets through acquisitions in China, India and Russia and a joint venture in the Middle East.
“I am privileged to have served as Ketchum’s CEO through more than a decade of extraordinary change and opportunity in the communications industry,” said Kotcher.
“The appointment of Rob to CEO has been long planned for and he is distinctly qualified for this role. Given Rob’s reputation throughout the industry as a respected counsellor and strategist, I know it will be greeted with great enthusiasm,” he added.
As Chief Executive, Flaherty will work with Kotcher and other leaders of the firm to guide agency strategy. He also will remain focused on providing clients with breakthrough ideas and the agency’s talent with clear opportunities for growth.
“Having called Ketchum my home for 23 years, I am deeply honoured to assume the role of CEO from Ray. Ray has been an outstanding leader, mentor and friend. I tremendously value our partnership and am looking forward to it continuing,” said Flaherty.
“I am motivated to maintain the successful course that Ray and our leadership team have charted. I plan to focus on priorities such as bringing broad global perspective to the agency’s leadership team and continuing to innovate with an agile approach to identifying and introducing new products and services that help clients seize timely opportunities,” he added.