Luce takes over as Kessler and Raine leave WS out west

SAN FRANCISCO: Ken Luce, Weber Shandwick's Southwest president, has stepped in to take on management responsibilities for California on an interim basis.

SAN FRANCISCO: Ken Luce, Weber Shandwick's Southwest president, has stepped in to take on management responsibilities for California on an interim basis.

Joe Kessler, president of Weber Shandwick California, and Debra Raine, the firm's San Francisco GM, left the agency during the past two weeks.

It is unclear why Raine left. She joined the agency in October after a nearly yearlong search for a GM. WS president Andy Polansky declined to comment on her departure. Raine did not return calls.

Raine joined shortly after Sheri Benjamin, who led WS' US tech practice and oversaw the Bay Area offices, left under unclear circumstances.

Kessler's impending departure was previously reported in PRWeek (June 21). He said he will pursue entrepreneurial opportunities.

Luce will retain his Southwest responsibilities while in California. "Ken has stepped in on an interim basis and will be spending a considerable amount of time in the Bay Area, as well as other offices on the West Coast," Polansky said.

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