Edelman, Ketchum feel burn of exec turnover

SAN FRANCISCO and NEW YORK: Two large agencies are witnessing turnovers in their senior ranks that speak to the difficulty of keeping top-level spots occupied.

SAN FRANCISCO and NEW YORK: Two large agencies are witnessing turnovers in their senior ranks that speak to the difficulty of keeping top-level spots occupied.

Just five months after joining Edelman, Warren Egnal has stepped down from his post as EVP and GM of the agency's San Francisco office.

And Ketchum is searching for a director of global healthcare as Mark Cater returns to London to join APCO Worldwide.

Cater had held the role since April after serving as MD of the European healthcare practice. His departure creates a vacancy that "may look different than the post he departed," said Robin Massey, VP of corporate media relations.

The practice will temporarily report to senior partner Lorraine Thelian.

Egnal's departure from Edelman stems from a difference in leadership style, noted Patrick McGuire, Western region president, who will oversee the San Francisco office while the agency searches for a replacement.

"It was just not a good style fit," said McGuire, who declined to elaborate. "It was disappointing to us and to Warren. We wish him the very best."

Egnal could not be reached for comment.

Egnal's departure leaves Edelman with a second GM seat to fill in the Bay Area. The firm is still seeking a GM for its Silicon Valley office to replace Luca Penati, who left in late August and has since joined Ogilvy PR as MD of its global tech practice. Pam Pollace, leader of Edelman's global technology practice, has been overseeing the Silicon Valley office in the interim.

Egnal had replaced Nicole Russell Didda, who left the firm in February 2005 to join change management firm Mercer Delta Consulting as a partner.

McGuire described the Bay Area as a fairly transient market hit hard by the tech downturn, one reason it is hard to find agency leadership there.

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