GCI exec defects, third one this year

NEW YORK: The GCI Group lost its third high-level executive in as many months last week when corporate practice head Jim Cox decided to return to Hill & Knowlton.

NEW YORK: The GCI Group lost its third high-level executive in as many months last week when corporate practice head Jim Cox decided to return to Hill & Knowlton.

Cox, who arrived at GCI in 1998 and built its corporate practice from the ground up, joins H&K as director of client development. In his new role, he will serve as a 'matrix manager,' putting together cross-office and cross-practice account teams and identifying potential gaps in H&K's client roster. He will rejoin the firm on May 15 and work alongside H&K director of client service David MacKay.

As one of CEO Bob Feldman's first hires at GCI in 1998, Cox oversaw the creation of a robust corporate practice. In addition to handling clients such as Visa and Deloitte & Touche, Cox spearheaded the development of the firm's corporate brand offerings, M&A research and its new labor relations practice (PRWeek, Sept. 7, 1999).

But he never lost touch with H&K CEO Tom Hoog, who eventually wooed him with the newly created position. 'I wanted to do more multi-office, multi-practice work and H&K has a much more developed global network,' Cox said.

Cox's departure is the third major personnel defection so far this year at GCI. In February, consumer practice leader Carla Stanmyre left to join a dot-com (PRWeek, February 14), and last month San Francisco GM Greg Spector moved over to H&K subsidiary Blanc & Otus (PRWeek, April 3).

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