Shandwick’s Petruzzello is victim of ’matrix’ structure

WASHINGTON, DC: Shandwick’s quest to become the top worldwide PR agency will not be derailed by the ouster of US CEO Michael Petruzzello, Shandwick International CEO Scott Meyer promised last week.

WASHINGTON, DC: Shandwick’s quest to become the top worldwide PR agency will not be derailed by the ouster of US CEO Michael Petruzzello, Shandwick International CEO Scott Meyer promised last week.

WASHINGTON, DC: Shandwick’s quest to become the top worldwide PR

agency will not be derailed by the ouster of US CEO Michael Petruzzello,

Shandwick International CEO Scott Meyer promised last week.



The decision to ’part ways,’ which clearly took many of the agency’s

staffers as well as Petruzzello himself by surprise, was spurred by

friction over Petruzzello’s role in Shandwick’s newly anointed global

’matrix’ structure (see sidebar).



’The creation of global practices (in public affairs and hi-tech)

reduced the scope of what Michael was running,’ Meyer explained. ’It’s

not traditional, but it is where the business is going in terms of

organization. We are just evolving this new practice. Michael wasn’t

comfortable with it.’



Meyer stressed that a plan launched by Shandwick on October 1, designed

to double the agency’s size within 1,000 days, would not be affected by

the move, and that three major deals - one, according to the Washington

Post, rumored to involve John McCain advisor Mike Murphy’s firm Murphy,

Pintak, Gautier, Hudome - are progressing as planned.



Meyer admitted that he made the decision to part with Petruzzello

personally: ’There was no coup and no friction between Michael and Gerry

Cassidy or Jody Powell or Steve Conafay. None of these people knew of

the decision before it was made.’



And despite Petruzzello’s reputation as a salesman without peer, Meyer

doesn’t think Shandwick will be affected by his departure. ’We have had

no clients, no potential acquisitions and no management calling

expressing concern,’ he stated plainly. ’Our entire executive team

supported the action and, outside of a handful of concerned people in

the Washington office, the announcement was received with almost no

reaction among our employees.’



That statement, however, didn’t gel with reports from within the

firm.



’Scott was the visionary, but Mike was doing the deals down on the

ground, and it seemed to work well,’ said one Petruzzello loyalist.

Another suggested that several of Petruzzello’s superiors and fellow

regional CEO-level executives felt threatened by his presence. ’There

was no way Gerry Cassidy was going to continue reporting to Michael,’

one said.



Paul Costello, managing director of national media, dismissed such

speculation as ’absurd.’



Petruzzello declined comment. Asked about his future plans, he quipped,

’I’m going to Disney World’ - a vacation, he quickly added, that had

been planned months ago.



- See editorial, p10





SHANDWICK’S NORTH AMERICAN ’MATRIX’



Scott Meyer: CEO, Shandwick International



Michael Murphy: Deputy CEO of Shandwick International, adds oversight

for the agency’s quality of product/client service and industry practice

groups worldwide Tom Tardio: Member of Global Executive Team, CEO of

Shandwick America’s Western Region (LA, Silicon Valley, Seattle,

Boston). Responsibility for tech practice worldwide



Stephen Conafay: Named to Global Executive Team, chief executive of

Shandwick America’s Eastern Region (New York, Baltimore, Minneapolis,

Louisville, St. Louis, Detroit and Houston). Responsibility for

consumer, healthcare, industrial and financial practices worldwide



Gerald Cassidy: Named to Global Executive Team, CEO of Shandwick DC.

Responsibility for gov’t relations/pub affairs practice worldwide.



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