Calhoun moves to client role at Weber Shandwick

NEW YORK: Weber Shandwick has reshuffled its senior US leadership, appointing North America president Cathy Calhoun to serve as global chief client officer and naming Minneapolis office president Sara Gavin to replace her.

Sara Gavin

NEW YORK: Weber Shandwick has reshuffled its senior US leadership, appointing North America president Cathy Calhoun to serve as global chief client officer and naming Minneapolis office president Sara Gavin to replace her.

The changes are effective immediately.

Susan Howe

The agency has also named Susan Howe, previously president of Weber's Chicago office, to serve as president of global consumer marketing, while EVP Rana Komar was appointed GM of the Chicago office. Eric Pehle, EVP and GM of the firm's Minneapolis office, will continue in his role and take on Gavin's leadership responsibilities for the Minneapolis operation.

Rana Komar

Calhoun, who has worked at Weber for 21 years, will report directly to Andy Polansky, CEO. She will have strategic oversight duties across Weber's global client portfolio in the newly created role.

Gavin, a 30-year Weber veteran, is reporting directly to Gail Heimann, president of the agency.

“[Gavin] really embodies the collaborative spirit that inspires our teams and sets our agency apart,” said Polansky.

Polansky said he believes every company in the professional services industry should have a chief client officer.

“Our aspiration is always to ensure that the clients have the best possible experience working with Weber Shandwick and to ensure that were drawing upon the firms' depth and breadth of expertise on their behalf,” he added.

Calhoun, he said, is a good fit for the role because she is strategic and committed to client service. 

Howe, who has worked at Weber for 17 years, will also report to Heimann in the global consumer role. She is succeeding Lisa Sepulveda, who left the firm in March to serve as president of global client relationship management at Edelman.

Polansky said that Howe's experience at the firm has been focused on building the Chicago office, which is one of Weber's largest operations. 

Komar, formerly an EVP in Chicago, will focus on managing the Chicago office. She is reporting to Gavin. 

At the beginning of the year, Weber promoted Tim Fry to chair of its global technology practice and Heimann to president and chief strategy officer. The firm also saw the departure of Northern California GM Tony Hynes in January.

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