Rob Flaherty, senior partner, CEO and president, Ketchum: Power List 2016

2016 rank: 28

I have known Rob nearly 40 years. Oy, we’re getting old. We both went to Utica College of Syracuse University; Rob was a freshman during my senior year. He quickly earned a reputation on campus as exceptionally bright, terrifically creative, and genuinely nice. He became the editorial cartoonist for the school newspaper; one day ask him to see the visual humiliation he once inflicted on me!

Those attributes — bright, creative, and nice — have served him very well. I had the pleasure of recruiting Rob twice, first to Burson-Marsteller during our early days and then about 10 years later to Ketchum.

Am I surprised Rob rose to become Ketchum’s global chief executive? Of course not. This is one of the most talented and engaging people in our business. For the nearly 20 years we closely worked together, I routinely saw the admiration and affection he engendered among employees and clients. And his passion for our business is inspiring and infectious.

Rob is the personification of strong, quiet leadership. It’s been my pleasure to call him a friend for so many years. He is one class act.

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