APCO taps Ashooh as senior director in Washington

APCO Worldwide hired the former Alcoa communications director as its senior director of corporate and executive communications, effective October 1. He will be based in Washington DC.

WASHINGTON: APCO Worldwide has hired former Alcoa communications leader Nick Ashooh as senior director of corporate and executive communications.

Ashooh will be based in APCO's Washington DC office, reporting to CEO Margery Kraus. He will join the firm on October 1.

In the newly created role, Ashooh will focus on corporate communications, drawing on his experience to help clients across the agency's energy, financial services, and crisis communications practices.

He said he has not been specifically tasked with working on the firm's BlackBerry business, which it won in a joint pitch with Text 100 in April, but would do so if asked.

Ashooh resigned from his post at Alcoa in July and left the business at the end of August, following a reorganization of the corporate affairs team that included responsibility for the Alcoa Foundation being moved to human resources. Executive communications duties were also placed under the corporate secretary's office at that time.

He was succeeded by Libby Archell, who rejoined the aluminum producer from Hewlett-Packard, in the top comms role at the aluminum producer.

Prior to Alcoa, Ashooh was SVP of communications at AIG, handling comms during the financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent government bailout. His communications career spans 37 years, including senior communications roles at American Electric Power, Niagara Mohawk Power, and Paramount Communications.

“I have been in corporate communications my entire career and often thought about moving agency-side, and this became the perfect opportunity to do so with an outstanding organization,” he said, adding that he has known Kraus a long time.

Ashooh said that after his resignation from Alcoa, he considered both client- and agency-side roles.

“In today's world, things change so fast and companies that are fine one day may find themselves with a reputation business challenge in an instant,” he explained. “I will help APCO's clients be better prepared and also help them avoid some mistakes so they can be on the front foot when an issue does arise.”

Earlier this month, APCO promoted Nelson Fernandez to executive director from MD of the firm's New York office. He continues to report to Robert Schooling, president of the Americas.

APCO reported US revenue of $75.3 million and global revenue of $121.8 million in 2012.

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