Ridgway, who co-founded AxiCom with Julian Tanner in 1994, is taking a career break after 22 years with the agency. The firm said she had been closely involved in the hunt for a successor and would stay on until the end of September to help make sure there was a smooth transition. She became its CEO at the start of last year, succeeding Tanner.
AxiCom has seven offices; in London, Paris, Munich, Milan, Madrid, Amsterdam and Stockholm. The firm said in a statement that the appointment signalled a "major global expansion drive for Cohn & Wolfe’s technology business, which will include deepening AxiCom’s market-leading position through geographic expansion and new practice areas".
Pittham has 25 years of tech PR experience, including corporate, b2b and b2c work across Europe, Asia and the US.
She most recently spent six years as MD of Racepoint Global Europe, leaving in mid-2015 and spending time as an independent comms consultant, according to LinkedIn. Before that, Pittham held senior roles at Text 100, Weber Shandwick and Grayling with a client roster spanning multinationals and start-ups, including Hitachi, Huawei and eBay.
Donna Imperato, Cohn & Wolfe's global CEO, said: "I am delighted to have someone of Cathy’s calibre lead AxiCom; her entrepreneurial mindset and strong leadership capabilities will help build the agency into a global technology powerhouse."
Pittham said she was particularly looking forward to working with AxiCom's teams in the UK and across Europe, "to drive continued growth by expanding the agency’s capabilities to capitalise on emerging client needs and by creating a differentiated brand in the marketplace".
According to Ridgway, AxiCom is on track for a "record year in 2016" with more expansion ahead.
"I am delighted to be handing over to Cathy who has exceptional experience and knowledge in the sector," she said. "The agency is in safe hands."