NEW YORK: Porter Novelli International is preparing for a change of
management, with speculation that CEO Bob Druckenmiller is soon to exit
along with COO Jeff Herskowitz.
Druckenmiller, 59, was reluctant to discuss the "timetable" for his
future plans, but admitted that wheels were in motion and that he was
working on a succession plan. However he said there would be no sudden
changes in the last five months of this year.
COO Jeff Herskowitz, 46, has confirmed his departure from the firm. He
has been managing the financial, operational and technological side of
the business and said: "I've accomplished a lot in the last 14 years at
this global company and now it is time to find something else to
Despite rumors among senior industry sources to the contrary, Herskowitz
said his departure was not related to Druckenmiller's plans.
Porter Novelli has been criticized by some industry players for looking
top heavy. In November 2000, PN reorganized, naming 33 partners to
oversee US operations with eight senior partners sitting on an executive
management committee. And while chairman Peter Hehir departed in
February, there are still four top executives in charge of business: CEO
Druckenmiller, COO Herskowitz, CFO Michael Gaeb and Druckenmiller's heir
apparent president David Copithorne, who is based in Boston.
Copithorne is considered a rising star in the Omnicom empire. He came to
PN through its acquisition of his agency, Copithorne & Bellows, which
has since been absorbed into the tech-focused Porter Novelli Convergence
Group. The operation counts computer giant Hewlett Packard among its
clients - an account which excluded PN from joining with its siblings
Fleishman-Hillard, Ketchum and Brodeur to pitch for the IBM
PN had to revise downwards its international fee income last year, from
dollars 214 million to dollars 208 million following the divestiture of
German PR subsidiary Kohtes & Klewes, which now operates as an
independent Omnicom unit within Diversified Agency Services (DAS). In
the previous year, Brodeur also chose to go it alone. On a global basis
the firm has fallen from No. 3 in 1999 to No. 6 in 2000.