NEW YORK: Ruder Finn has named Rowan Benecke as its chief growth officer, a month after he left Burson Cohn & Wolfe.
Benecke will lead business development, strategic partnerships, acquisitions, and key client relationships at the firm. Monday is his first day at Ruder Finn, where he’ll report to CEO Kathy Bloomgarden. The agency has not determined how many direct reports he will have.
"The first order of business is maintaining and sustaining the momentum that Ruder Finn has enjoyed recently and the growth of the different business units we operate around the world," Benecke said. He added that he will work to build out single-market successes across the agency’s network and ensure Ruder Finn has a compelling offer for clients.
Benecke became a free agent in August as one of many high-level departures who have left BCW after WPP created the firm by merging Cohn & Wolfe and Burson-Marsteller in February to form the third-largest agency in the world by revenue.
Most recently, he was global technology chair at Burson, which he joined in 2014 after leaving Text100, where Benecke was EVP and regional director for North America.
Ruder Finn also said on Monday that it has hired Constantine Frangos for the newly created role of creative director. Creative direction at the firm had previously been managed at the team level. While teams will continue to have their own creative direction, Frangos has been charged with developing an overall creative focal point at the agency, Bloomgarden said.
Frangos started at the firm last month, reporting to chief innovation officer Michael Schubert. Previously, Frangos worked as a creative director at ad agency Rauxa for four years, according to his LinkedIn account, and had stints at G2 Worldwide, Cossette, and Munn Rabot.
The agency also promoted eight-year Ruder Finn veteran Tejas Totade to the new position of head of emerging technologies, reporting to Bloomgarden and overseeing data and analytics services and social listening tools, as well as Ruder Finn’s voice offerings. Totade was most recently group VP of technology and innovation.
Ruder Finn saw $68 million in revenue in 2017, up 1% from 2016.
This story was updated on September 18 to correct Totade's title.