Curtis exits Hager Sharp

Lynne Doner Lotenberg is stepping in as interim CEO of Hager Sharp following the resignation of Garry Curtis.

WASHINGTON: Lynne Doner Lotenberg is stepping in as interim CEO of Hager Sharp following the resignation of Garry Curtis from the role.

She will share management responsibilities at the firm with EVPs Debra Silimeo and Jim Healy.

Curtis had served as president and CEO of Hager Sharp since the company became employee-owned in 2008. He said in a statement that it was time to return to focusing on working for clients and causes.

Curtis did not immediately return a request for additional comment. He worked at the firm for 20 years in total.

Barbara Davis Blum, chairman of the Hager Sharp Board of Directors, said in a statement that she and the board “understand the desire to tackle a new challenge after 20 years of dedicated service and wish him all the best.”

Lotenberg told PRWeek that it was too early to discuss whether Hager Sharp's board would commence a search for a new CEO or promote the next chief executive from in-house.

She said her immediate focus is to “continue the same direction we were going in,” in terms of continuing to build the company.

A source familiar with the situation said that Curtis stepped down for a personal matter, and that the interim leadership was announced but an executive search was not, implying that Dotenberg's role could become permanent.

Lotenberg joined the firm in 2011 to lead the strategic planning and research practice. Previously, she ran her own consultancy for 15 years, known as The Doner Lotenberg Group.

Hager Sharp's revenue was down 14% in 2012 to about $7.5 million, compared with the previous year, according to PRWeek's Agency Business Report.

In August, Hager Sharp bought the Washington DC office of Lipman Hearne, which included its public affairs practice, in the firm's first acquisition in more than two decades. It also just won an account from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support a new outreach effort promoting strategies to control high blood pressure to both healthcare providers and their patients.

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