Kerins leaves GCI, exec shifts aim to build tech practice

NEW YORK: GCI Group is shifting executive positions as Ray Kerins, EVP and director of the corporate communications and media relations practices, departs the firm.

NEW YORK: GCI Group is shifting executive positions as Ray Kerins, EVP and director of the corporate communications and media relations practices, departs the firm.

The agency, which recently hired Stephanie Marchesi as president of GCI New York, is losing Kerins to GCI client Merck, where he will be executive director of media relations.

Jeff Hunt, president and CEO of the WPP agency, said several candidates for the vacant position would arrive in New York this week.

"We are not happy to see him leave," said Hunt. "He's a very valued colleague. The good news is that he's going to be our client, so we feel he'll be close."

Hunt added that GCI is also expanding its tech practice.

Its first move was last week's appointment of William Marks to head GCI's North American technology practice, a new position. He is currently GM of GCI's Atlanta office. Donna Fleishman, a veteran of Cohn & Wolfe, will fill Marks' post.

Hunt said top priority will be growing its tech business.

"We need national oversight," he said.

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