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PR’s Revolving Door

Roll Call: Edelman, Ruder Finn and The Digital Consultancy

Edelman has named Stephanie Lvovich global chair of its Public Affairs practice, effective October 13, 2014. Lvovich, formerly executive director and global chair of the food and consumer products practice at APCO Worldwide, will lead the firm’s global Public Affairs practice, which encompasses over 275 professionals worldwide. She will be based in the firm’s London office. At APCO Worldwide, Lvovich led the creation of and managed APCO’s global food and consumer products practice. She also oversaw international accounts for major food and consumer products companies including the Coca-Cola Company, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Mars Incorporated, SABMiller and many others. Lvovich also built and managed APCO’s business development function for Europe, India and the Middle East and helped support business and client expansion, particularly in the Gulf region. (Release)

Ruder Finn, Inc. announced that it has hired Peggy Walsh as its global chief financial officer. With 20 years of experience in business operations and finance, Peggy will oversee finance for Ruder Finn’s 12 offices across the U.S., Asia and the U.K. Peggy is coming to Ruder Finn from Ketchum, where she spent 15 years, most recently serving as Senior Vice President and Director of Finance and Operations. Walsh’s hire comes in light of Ruder Finn’s ongoing growth surge, with the agency’s key focus areas – Health & Wellness, Corporate & Public Trust, Technology & Innovation, and Consumer Connections – all growing. (Release)

The Digital Consultancy announced that Greg Verdino will launch and lead its North American office. In his role as managing director, Verdino will build upon The Digital Consultancy’s client-proven methodologies to deliver the comprehensive, impartial strategies that global organizations need in order to thrive in a constantly evolving digital economy. Verdino joins The Digital Consultancy after nearly 25 years working at the forefront of marketing, media and technology change. His career has included time as executive vice president of strategy at social business firm Dachis Group, chief strategy officer at pioneering social media consultancy crayon, and vice president of emerging channels at Digitas. His experience also includes seven years in senior marketing, sales and general management roles at a variety of technology startups, as well as agency stints at Blau Marketing Technologies, Wunderman and Saatchi & Saatchi. He most recently ran his own consulting practice, advising organizations in the media, healthcare, retail and public sectors on digital strategy, marketing, and transformation. (Release)

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Walmart Comms VP to Resign Over Fake Resume

David TobarIn a peculiar story, David Tovar has announced his plans to resign from Walmart after spending more than eight years in various top PR roles at the big box chain. The reason? He was less than honest about his (alleged) status as a college graduate.

Tovar’s name isn’t new to us or our readers: he’s been a popular speaker at industry events like The Holmes Report’s 2013 Global Summit and PRSA’s recent corporate comms conference. He also made headlines by doing things like boycotting The Huffington Post over its “unfair coverage” of his employer, “fact-checking” an unflattering New York Times op-ed, and admitting that the Waltons sometimes have trouble keeping their shelves stocked.

In other words, he’s bolder than your average corporate communications executive — especially when it comes to massaging the truth about his background.

He tried to explain things to CNBC today.

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Roll Call: Waggener Edstrom, W2O Group and More

Waggener Edstrom Communications announced that industry veteran Michael Murphy will join WE as a senior global advisor to the executive team. He will work with WE leaders as the firm continues its evolution into one of the industry’s largest, integrated independent global agencies. Murphy is a business leader and communications specialist with decades of global experience in helping organizations successfully develop a range of growth strategies from organic account growth around the world through to M&A to complement existing capabilities. Coupled with the agency’s already strong global leadership, Murphy’s insights will help map growth strategies and potential strategic and business development opportunities. (Release)

W2O Group announced the opening of a Silicon Valley office and the promotion of digital marketing expert, Aaron Strout, to technology practice lead in response to the growing momentum of this business sector across its firms. Technology is now the second largest and fastest growing practice within W2O Group. The Technology Practice started with two accounts less than three years ago and now services 14 clients, including HP, Verizon, Intel, BMC Software and INRIX. Strout will focus on expanding the Technology Practice across all W2O companies — WCG, Twist Mktg and Brewlife — while enhancing the range of services offered. The Silicon Valley office, which will include several team members representing account services, analytics and finance, will strengthen the Technology Practice and expand its footprint. Group director and author Michael Brito, who has been working with and for technology clients for more than 15 years, will partner with Strout to lead business development and growth in that office. (Release)

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Roll Call: Hager Sharp, Lambert, Edwards & Associates, Elasticity and More

Hager Sharp announced the appointment of Lisa Matthews, longtime planning editor for the Associated Press in Washington, DC, as vice president. Matthews organized national and international news coverage and is a leader in storytelling in today’s multiplatform media environment. Matthews is an award-winning journalist who has orchestrated AP coverage of major events such as the Olympics, the Summit on Africa, and breaking news across the country. She most recently served as planning editor at the AP, overseeing teams of video, radio, and digital journalists and working with AP print and photo divisions as well as bureau leaders across the country. Matthews has been twice honored with Edward R. Murrow awards, for coverage of 9/11 and of the economy. She is active in professional organizations such as the Radio Television Digital News Association and the National Association of Black Journalists, and has served as a mentor for young journalists and students in programs sponsored by the Radio Television News Directors Foundation and James Madison University, her alma mater. (Release)

Lambert, Edwards & Associates (LE&A) announced the addition of Matt Magee as a director in the Financial Communications Practice. Matt adds more than a decade of experience in the financial industry to the firm, with a background ranging from investment banking to equity trading. In his new role, he will be responsible for developing and implementing integrated strategies for publicly traded companies seeking to engage the investment community and other pertinent audiences, providing full-service investor relations and corporate communications programs. Previously, Matt worked as vice president in the Financial Institutions practice of both Boenning & Scattergood and FIG Partners. He was responsible for advising executive management teams and Board of Directors from various financial institutions on corporate strategic plans and initiatives such as capital raising and merger & acquisitions. (Release) Read more

Edelman’s Silver to Run MSLGROUP’s NYC Office

MSLGROUP_Logo

Today we received some rare worthwhile anonymous tips here at PRNewser: MSLGROUP will name a new managing director of its New York office, and our tipsters tell us that the name dropped will be Andrew Silver, currently serving as MD/global client relationship manager at Edelman.

Silver’s appointment would certainly make sense: aside from his two stints at Edelman in both New York and China, he served as EVP and led the consumer marketing group at Ogilvy New York from 2005 to 2007; he also spent two years as consumer practice leader for North America at Cohn & Wolfe before returning to Edelman in Beijing in 2009.

For context, MSLGROUP currently has no managing director listed for its New York office; Joel Curran filled the position for just over a year before leaving to work as vice chancellor for communications at the University of North Carolina in late 2013.

UPDATE: Our source was correct. This morning MSL announced that Silver will begin the new job on Monday.

Roll Call: Burson-Marsteller, Edelman, RLM Finsbury and More

Burson-Marsteller has hired Rowan Benecke to lead its global technology practice. Benecke comes to the firm from Text 100, where he spent almost a decade. He joined Text100 in 2005, after working at Waggener-Edstrom and Zeno. In 2012, he relocated from Europe to New York to lead the Next15 firm’s North American operations. Benecke has played a key operational role at Text 100, leading the firm at successive stops in Asia, EMEA and North America. He takes on the global tech chair role that was previously occupied by Lisa Poulson until her departure from Burson last year. (TheHolmesReport)

Edelman has named Maria Amundson as global chair, Technology sector, effective September 15. Amundson, currently general manager of Edelman Silicon Valley, will lead the agency’s team of 440 technology communications experts in 23 countries and be responsible for client counsel, portfolio management, new business development and sector marketing. She will report to Kym White, global director of sectors and global chair of Edelman’s Health sector, and be based in Silicon Valley. Amundson joined Edelman as an executive vice president in 2006 when the firm acquired A&R Partners, the leading independent Bay Area technology PR firm that she co-owned in San Mateo, Calif. She became general manager of Edelman’s Silicon Valley office in late 2012, counseling technology companies from early stage start-ups to Fortune 50 leaders. (Release)

RLM Finsbury announced that it is opening a San Francisco office, bolstering its global footprint. Doug Michelman, former chief communications officer and global head of Corporate Relations of Visa, Inc. who was most recently a senior advisor to RLM Finsbury, has been named a partner and will lead the new office. Prior to Visa, Michelman served as regional president and senior partner of Fleishman-Hillard, where he managed its West Coast operations. In addition to various roles at Fleishman-Hillard both in the U.S. and internationally, his extensive communications experience also includes staff positions in the press office for two presidential campaigns. (Release) Read more

Roll Call: The Glover Park Group, Kravetz PR and More

Jenni LeCompte, an Obama administration veteran who served as assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of the Treasury before working as a consultant, has joined D.C.’s The Glover Park Group as managing director. LeCompte acted as deputy assistant secretary until Obama promoted her in 2011, and in her new role she will work across the firm’s strategic communications and financial services practices.

In the release, Glover Park CEO Chip Smith cites LeCompte’s “rarely matched experience”. While working for the administration, she handled media relations, speechwriting and business/public liaison concerns while advising top officials like Secretary Tim Geithner on how best to communicate with the public. Prior to joining Obama’s team, she served as deputy CEO for public affairs for the Democratic National Convention Committee and managed messaging for the 2008 event. Previous roles include director of communications for the Recording Industry Association of America and positions within the Clinton White House press office and the comms operations of Senators Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer.

LeCompte holds a B.S. from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Kravetz PR has named Larry Fink the new vice president of the company. Fink brings 10 years of PR experience, which spans from the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas where he served as the executive director of Public Relations to Planet Hollywood International in Los Angeles as the vice president of Public Relations/Celebrity Entertainment. Prior to the Palms, Fink was a segment producer at Access Hollywood. (Release)

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Roll Call: Alibaba and ABC News

Robert H. Christie, known as Bob the PR Guy on Twitter, will serve as vice president of international media for the China-based e-commerce giant Alibaba as it prepares for its pending IPO.

Christie, who was head of communications at Dow Jones before leaving to run PR at The New York Times in 2010, had his position eliminated as part of the ongoing NYT downsizing plans in 2013. His most recent role was that of managing director at Burson-Marsteller’s New York office; last night on Twitter, he confirmed that he will move to San Francisco to begin his new role on Septememer 1st. The release holds that he will be ”responsible for managing media relations for the company outside of Greater China”. Alibaba looks to go public soon after Labor Day, so Mr. Christie will be very busy. (Capital New York)

Tom Cibrowski has been promoted to senior vice president, ABC News Programs, News Gathering and Special Events. A veteran producer who has spent nearly 25 years at ABC, Tom has been part of the Good Morning America (GMa) team for 13 years, the last seven as senior executive producer and executive producer. Tom joined ABC as a desk assistant and then served as a producer for our bureaus in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Seattle, covered the wars in Bosnia and Iraq, produced interviews with Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton. (Release) Also at ABC News, Michael Corn will become GMA’s new senior executive producer. Michael leaves World News as the program where he has spent the past three years as executive producer. Michael has deep ties at GMA, having been part of the morning team for nearly 10 years. (TVNewser)

Hill+Knowlton Hires New SF GM from the Tech World

H+K_Jodi BaumannWe think we might be witnessing a trend: Hill+Knowlton Strategies just announced the hiring of tech veteran Jodi Baumann to run both its San Francisco office and its global tech practice.

Baumann currently serves as senior director of global communications at NetApp, a Sunnydale storage/data company that just happened to appear on the Glassdoor list ranking the “top 25 American companies for culture and value” below Twitter, Edelman and others.

H+K Americas president/CEO Mike Coates gets right at Baumann’s appeal in the press release, writing, “she is so entrenched in both the technology space and the local San Francisco market.”

That’s the same reason that Ketchum acquired Access Communications in 2008 and named its president/CEO Susan Butenhoff to lead its own global tech practice last week.

It also reminded us of DKC PR’s decision to hire AdAge tech reporter/San Francisco bureau chief Cotton Delo as account supervisor back in June.

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Roll Call: Business to Business Network and Qillin Advertising, PR & Social Media

Business to Business Network (BBN) announced today it has added two new agencies—ComCorp in France and Singapore’s GetIT Comms—to its growing network. ComCorp will join as an associate member, while GetIT will be joining as an added value associate. Founded in 2013 by Charles de la Rochefoucauld, ComCorp is a consulting agency for corporate reputation and brands and has worked with well-known, global companies such as Cisco, Schneider Electric, Lilly and Ericsson. GetIT provides solutions for technology companies marketing themselves in Asia, such as Cisco Systems, Dimension Data, BT Global Services, Orange Business Services and StarHub. They have been engaged with BBN since late April when CEO, Anol Bhattacharya, was invited to serve as a BBN panelist on social media at the Business Marketing Association Conference in Chicago in May. (Release)

Quillin Advertising, Public Relations & Social Media is growing with the addition of four new hires. Julia Gilmour will serve as social media strategist. Her experience spans areas related to digital and social media marketing, having worked on multiple campaigns for national brands. Adam Porsborg joins as advertising account executive. His strategic communications experience will greatly benefit Quillin’s portfolio of clients, as Porsborg has successfully helped craft, oversee and execute campaigns for technology startups, financial investment firms, manufacturing companies and international corporations. Michael Speciale brings more than 30 years of marketing experience to his role as media buyer. With a perfected art in negotiations, Speciale is a native New Yorker who used his skills to teach media buying and planning courses at the University of Rhode Island. Marilyn Valenzuela joins the public relations team as coordinator. A recent graduate, Valenzuela attended the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies and obtained a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. (Release)

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