NEW YORK: PR Council President Kathy Cripps, who has led the organization for more than 13 years, will step down by the end of this year, the group said Thursday morning.
Cripps declined to pinpoint a specific time when she will step aside, saying it will depend on the search process.
"There are a lot of new initiatives, and it’s a great time for someone to step in and move things to new heights," she said, adding that she plans to consult after she retires. "It’s something I’ve been contemplating. Doing the rebrand was very important to me, and now I feel like we’re in a very good place."
The industry organization has created a search party led by FleishmanHillard CEO Dave Senay, himself the Council’s former chair, to find a replacement. Christopher Graves, global chairman of Ogilvy Public Relations, is the group’s current chair.
Late last year, the industry body rebranded as the PR Council from its longtime name, the Council of Public Relations Firms, noting that it had been regularly referred to as the "PR Council" by both members and nonmembers alike for years.
"The response to the rebrand we’ve gotten from members and the industry has been very positive," she added.
Cripps explained the reasons the organization rebranded and the research and member surveys it conducted in the process of doing so in a video interview with PRWeek.
Cripps has served as the president of the PR Council for the past 13 years. She joined the group in 2002 after working at Hill & Knowlton as US healthcare leader. She also served as president of Sciens Worldwide Public Relations, group manager at Creamer Dickson Basford, and VP at Burson-Marsteller, according to her LinkedIn account. Earlier in her career, she worked at Nestle.
This story was updated on May 28 with comments from Cripps.