Powell Tate executive exodus shadows Shandwick

WASHINGTON, DC: Last fall’s acquisition of the Cassidy Companies by Shandwick has has resulted in something of a staff exodus, with at least eight senior execs - all from Powell Tate - leaving the newly merged public affairs giant over the last few weeks.

WASHINGTON, DC: Last fall’s acquisition of the Cassidy Companies by Shandwick has has resulted in something of a staff exodus, with at least eight senior execs - all from Powell Tate - leaving the newly merged public affairs giant over the last few weeks.

WASHINGTON, DC: Last fall’s acquisition of the Cassidy Companies by

Shandwick has has resulted in something of a staff exodus, with at least

eight senior execs - all from Powell Tate - leaving the newly merged

public affairs giant over the last few weeks.



Few of the execs would give specific reasons for their departure, but a

clash of Shandwick’s big-agency culture with Powell Tate’s less

corporate one seems to be among the primary factors. Some cited the

stress of working for a large conglomerate, while others saw no future

in the public affairs business. One went so far as to predict that

Shandwick’s public affairs practice, currently DC’s biggest, will be

considerably diminished by the end of the year.



Jody Powell, CEO and chairman of the board, acknowledged the mass

departures, characterizing the turnover as ’eight or nine months

compressed into a couple of weeks.’ Many of the moves had been expected,

he added: ’Some of the employees waited until the first of the year to

leave so that they would receive their 1999 ESOP contribution.’



Among those who have left are group VP Michael Causey; EVP Julia

Sutherland; SVP John Gibbons; VPs Tom McMahon, Jackie Nedell, Tom

O’Toole and Ken Vest; and account supervisor Alison King.



Meanwhile, Shandwick hasn’t wasted any time in replacing some of the

departed staffers. Former NBC foreign correspondent Sandy Gilmour was

named VP, while T.J. Gibson has joined as group director and Jerry

LeTourneau becomes head of the video and new media services

department.



The former Powell Tate employees have quickly found new homes as

well.



Causey and McMahon have joined Strat@comm and Brodeur, respectively, as

senior counselors. Nedell joined Porter Novelli as VP, Vest formed his

own communications consultancy and King left to work for IBM.



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