NEW YORK, June 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ketchum, one of the world leaders in public relations, today announced that Rob Flaherty, Senior Partner and President, also will 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 at the highly successful agency which PRWeek recently named as its 2012 agency of the year.
Flaherty, 52, joined Ketchum in 1989 and 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 counseled client organizations and brands including IBM, FedEx, Philips and Pfizer.
According to Dale Adams, President and CEO of Omnicom's Diversified Agency Services group (DAS), "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. During his tenure, Ray has developed and maintained a genuinely talented, effective and stable senior leadership team. His ability to lead and plan with this group will ensure the transition to Rob will be seamless."
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. As CEO, Kotcher also led the development of a range of offerings in areas such as change management, sports and entertainment, and word-of-mouth marketing. This portfolio, coupled with industry-recognized talent development programs, has resulted in client retention well above the industry norm and strong year-on-year revenue growth.
"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. "By all measures, we have just completed the most successful year in our history culminating in Ketchum receiving many of the industry's most prestigious awards for our client work and for the firm itself. It is deeply gratifying."
"The appointment of Rob to CEO has been long planned for and he is distinctly qualified for this role," continued Kotcher. "Given Rob's reputation throughout the industry as a respected counselor and strategist, I know it will be greeted with great enthusiasm. For our people, it is a clear demonstration that our agency will continue to protect and be guided by our deeply rooted values. For these reasons and many more, Ketchum will continue to thrive with Rob as CEO."
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. Flaherty will continue to work with colleagues to fully integrate the agency's geographies and areas of expertise so that clients receive consistent service wherever they conduct business. He also is firmly committed to the firm's tradition of giving back to the communities in which it operates.
"Having called Ketchum my home for 23 years, I am deeply honored to assume the role of CEO from Ray. Ray has been an outstanding leader, mentor and friend. I have great respect for how he has grown Ketchum's business while always doing what's right for our clients, our colleagues and our business. 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."
Kotcher and Flaherty remain dedicated to their active involvement in the public relations industry, as well as to the communities in which they live and work. Among other organizations, Kotcher will continue to serve on the board of trustees and executive committee of the Arthur W. Page Society. In 2004, Ketchum began a partnership with the World Economic Forum through which Flaherty serves as a frequent facilitator at Davos and other regional forums. And more recently, in 2008, the firm formed a pro bono partnership with Room to Read, an organization committed to literacy and gender equality in education. Flaherty serves on the organization's advisory board of directors.
For more information, click here to view the multimedia release.
Ketchum is a leading global communications firm with operations in more than 70 countries across six continents. Named 2012 PR Agency of the Year (PRWeek) and the winner of an unprecedented three consecutive PRWeek Campaign of the Year Awards, Ketchum partners with clients to deliver strategic programming, game-changing creative and measurable results that build brands and reputations. For more information on Ketchum, a part of Diversified Agency Services, a division of Omnicom Group Inc., visit www.ketchum.com.
About Diversified Agency Services
Diversified Agency Services (DAS), a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com), manages Omnicom's holdings in a variety of marketing communications disciplines. DAS includes over 200 companies, which operate through a combination of networks and regional organizations, serving international and local clients through more than 700 offices in 71 countries.
About Omnicom Group Inc.
Omnicom Group Inc. (www.omnicomgroup.com) is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom's branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.