LOS ANGELES: Deanne Yamamoto, partner and West Coast brand practice leader at Ketchum, will step down from her role next week after more than 16 years at the firm to rejoin Golin as Los Angeles MD.
Yamamoto, who previously worked at the Interpublic Group agency before joining Ketchum in 1998, will assume her position in the next few weeks, said Gary Rudnick, president of Americas at Golin.
Reporting to Rudnick, Yamamoto will lead the firm’s LA operation, which includes about 100 staffers. Each of the practice leaders in that office will report to her. In addition to overseeing daily operations, Yamamoto will work on employee training and new business efforts, and she will offer senior counsel to clients.
Prior to this, Judy Johnson, former president for the western region, led Golin’s LA office. Johnson left the agency in April to join real estate company Caruso Affiliated as chief marketing and communications officer.
Dave Chapman, partner and director of Ketchum West, said SVP Alisa Feinstein will assume Yamamoto’s leadership responsibilities for the agency’s West Coast brand practice.
"[Yamamoto] has been an incredible part of Ketchum for 16 years," said Chapman. "She’s been a great partner and friend to all of us, not only in the West, but all over the US and the world."
Rudnick, who announced the news of Yamamoto’s return internally at Golin on Wednesday, said the staff is excited to have her back because she "has one of the best reputations in the market."
"We know her both professionally and from a culture standpoint from when she with us previously, and we’ve competed against her over the years and have always respected her and the team she’s built [at Ketchum]," he said. "We feel really good about her stepping in seamlessly and leading us in Los Angeles."
Prior to her most recent role at Ketchum, Yamamoto served as associate director of the firm’s global brand practice for several years, Chapman said. Before that, she was an SVP at the agency.
Yamamoto was not immediately available for comment.
During her first stint at Golin, Yamamoto served as a VP in the consumer practice for nine years, according to her LinkedIn profile.