Ostrowski, other executives to leave Porter Novelli by 2009

NEW YORK: Five senior Porter Novelli executives, including chairman Helen Ostrowski, will be leaving the agency by the start of 2009.

NEW YORK: Five senior Porter Novelli executives, including chairman Helen Ostrowski, will be leaving the agency by the start of 2009.

Ostrowski was CEO of PN from 2003 until January 1, 2008, when Gary Stockman was named CEO. She held previous posts at PN, too, including GM of New York. She is also in a leadership role for industry associations, including the Arthur W. Page Society.

Julie Winskie, president of the Americas, confirmed that the following executives are departing the senior management team: David Zucker, partner and director of PN CauseWorks; Peter Hirsch, global corporate affairs leader; Jim Barbagallo, partner and MD of the Boston office; and Larry Paredes, general counsel.

O'Dwyer's PR Report first reported the news on its Web site based on an internal memo dated November 18, which listed the aforementioned planned departures.

Winskie confirmed that an internal memo had been sent to senior staff but declined to provide additional information about the specifics of the changes.

"We don't comment on departures," she said, unless in rare situations like Helen Ostrowski's announcement that she would step down as chairman in 2009.

Hirsch, a 14-year veteran of the PN team, said he is working on book about corporate communications and Web 2.0, and will remain on as a consultant for the agency. Paredes said he had been hired as general counsel at BlackRock Kelso Capital. And Barbagallo said he will be pursuing opportunities in clean tech or corporate communications. He added that a senior team will be overseeing the Boston office after his departure.

Zucker was not immediately available for comment.

"It's part of the normal course of changes for the agency right now," Winskie said. She added that the agency is still hiring.

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