Weber Shandwick taps Capstraw to lead LA office

Weber Shandwick has brought on Leslie Capstraw from Ogilvy Public Relations to serve as general manager of its Los Angeles office.

LOS ANGELES: Weber Shandwick has appointed Ogilvy Public Relations EVP Leslie Capstraw as EVP and GM of its Los Angeles office.

She started in the role on March 17, reporting to the firm’s president of North America, Sara Gavin. Tasked with the day-to-day leadership of the office, Capstraw will oversee approximately 40 staffers.

"My main responsibility is driving the business forward," Capstraw said about her new role. "I will be focusing in staff development, making sure our clients are well looked after, and driving new business pursuits."

Capstraw succeeds Arun Divakaruni, who served as interim GM of the Los Angeles office for the past nine months. Divakaruni is Weber’s SVP of element scientific communications, which is a team composed of doctors, reporters, and editors who "incite change through science," according to Weber.

Previously, Lorie Fiber was in the EVP and GM position. Fiber now works at Castlight Health.

"LA is a very important market for us, and we have pulled in some terrific talent," said Gavin. "We looked long and hard for the right leader, and I am very confident we have found it in [Capstraw]."

Capstraw is joining Weber from Ogilvy, where she had worked since 2000, most recently as EVP, group director for brand, and head of the Los Angeles office, focusing primarily on consumer and consumer technology. Her prior roles at the firm include SVP and VP of consumer marketing.

Formerly serving as the Minneapolis office president, Gavin was promoted to her current role in September when Weber reshuffled its senior US leadership. She replaced Cathy Calhoun, who was named global chief client officer.

Other recent appointments in the Los Angeles office include Jim Wetmore as EVP of healthcare, Heidi Stewart as SVP, and Mike Hope and Cira Van Leeuwen in VP roles.

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