Singer leaves GCI Group to start public affairs shop

SAN FRANCISCO: Sam Singer, GCI Group EVP and Western region managing director, has quit to start an agency of his own, taking a handful of prestigious accounts and leaving a vacancy in the critical Silicon Valley/Bay Area market.

SAN FRANCISCO: Sam Singer, GCI Group EVP and Western region managing director, has quit to start an agency of his own, taking a handful of prestigious accounts and leaving a vacancy in the critical Silicon Valley/Bay Area market.

SAN FRANCISCO: Sam Singer, GCI Group EVP and Western region managing director, has quit to start an agency of his own, taking a handful of prestigious accounts and leaving a vacancy in the critical Silicon Valley/Bay Area market.

Singer, a crisis and corporate reputation expert whose San Francisco public affairs agency Kamer-Singer was acquired by GCI in February 1999, spent the past year overseeing the firm's two San Francisco offices as well as outposts in Los Angeles and Boulder, CO.

Former partner Larry Kamer will continue as head of GCI Kamer-Singer (renamed GCI Kamer), which has effectively become the national public affairs practice for GCI.

A nationwide search is under way to replace Singer, according to North America president Bob Pearson. In the interim, Pearson will supervise operations in San Francisco.

Long-time Kamer-Singer clients such as Marriott, Ford Motor, Arnold Palmer Golf and the San Francisco 49ers have followed Singer to his new venture, San Francisco-based Singer Associates.

Both Pearson and Kamer claimed Singer's exit and the loss of public affairs clients would not adversely affect GCI. Pearson said San Francisco's biotech and tech practices are currently thriving.

Singer called the parting from Kamer and GCI, which has been in the works since last July, a bit 'like getting divorced.'

'I was thrilled when they first asked me to take on the management role and I learned a lot over the past year, but the big agency life was not me,' he said.

Singer may best be known for his work with Denise DeBartolo York and her husband, John, whose bid for control of the 49ers resulted in a highly publicized court battle. In 1997 he led the corporate reputation team that handled Levi Strauss' layoffs.





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