Porter CEO Stockman to step down next month

NEW YORK: Porter Novelli CEO Gary Stockman will leave the agency July 31. Michael Ramah, the firm's global director of strategy, will become acting chief executive.

NEW YORK: Porter Novelli CEO Gary Stockman will leave the agency July 31. Michael Ramah, the firm's global director of strategy, will become acting chief executive at that time.

Stockman has served as CEO of Porter since January 2008 after working as the Omnicom Group's president for eight years. He was a partner at technology communications agency Copithorne and Bellows when it merged with Porter in 2000.

Agency representatives declined to comment on the leadership change, but Stockman said in a statement that “after nearly five years as CEO, it's time for a new experience.”

In October 2011, Stockman was appointed chair-elect of the Council of Public Relations Firms, and he was ranked No. 50 on PRWeek's Power List last year.

Dale Adams, CEO of Omnicom's Diversified Agency Services unit, of which Porter is a part, said in a statement that “[Stockman] has played a critical role in the development of Porter Novelli's future. His commitment to the value of public relations in a modern world of communications is unparalleled. We wish him all the best.”

Earlier this month, Porter senior partner and CMO Michael Goldberg left the agency after only six months in the role to join Deutsch as CMO and partner.  

In January, former Porter President Julie Winskie also parted ways with the agency. Last year, a number of senior staffers left the firm including former global digital director Brad McCormick, director of global health and regulatory Peter Pitts, and EVP Nick Charles. It hired Karen van Bergen as MD and senior partner of the firm's New York office last November, and named Sean Smith SVP of global crisis communications in August 2011.

The agency lost its long-held Gillette account to sister Omnicom agency Ketchum last fall. It also lost work for Amgen, Baxter, Eli Lilly, and Harman International in 2011. Last month, the US Department of Health and Human Services hired Porter to conduct a $17 million campaign promoting the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.

Porter was also named AOR for business information company Dun & Bradstreet in April, focusing on enhancing the company's PR efforts throughout North America and potentially other countries.

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