SEATTLE: Ruder Finn is planning to open an office in Seattle next year. And the firm has hired Travis Murdock, former global head of marketing at Xinova, for a newly created EVP role in its technology and innovation practice to lead it.
"We’ve had our eye on the Pacific Northwest for some time," said Robin Kim, global head of the technology and innovation practice. "We were waiting for a state of readiness, not just with the business but also with the people and getting them on board. It’s important to bring in people who understand Ruder Finn’s culture, and we’re very mindful and conscientious of that. We’re not just building a footprint in isolation. They need to be contributing globally."
Murdock, who is also a member of the agency’s executive team, started at Ruder Finn on October 28. He is reporting to Kim. Murdock is planning to add more direct reports as the firm hires staff for the Seattle office.
"Murdock does a number of things uniquely well," Kim said. "He really understands the intersection between comms, marketing and lead generation, and he understands how tech works. He knows how to build businesses, and that means build business teams and offices but always on behalf of the customer and client."
Murdock did not disclose clients that he is working with, but said he has a few initial items on his to-do list for the new office.
"The first set of goals we have is to grow the team and the presence in Ruder Finn West," he said. "Seattle has just a wonderful tech community that we’re really eager to contribute to, to give back to and to help grow."
Murdock said that while Seattle is known for its large, established tech companies, he is hoping to work with "second- and third-generation tech companies [where] there is a real opportunity for growth."
Murdock was previously global head of marketing at Xinova, a research and product development company. Xinova director of marketing Alyssa Moore said it has hired Sharat Reddy as GM of sales and marketing, taking over Murdock’s duties.
"We are really excited for [Murdock] that he found an opportunity that’s probably the next step in his career," she said. "He was an incredible contributor here and we are sad to see him go."
Ruder Finn chief growth officer Rowan Benecke said the agency is planning to open at least one more office before the end of the year.
"[Seattle] is another peg in the growth story for Ruder Finn, and it’s not going to be the last. We will have other towns and offices to share in short order," he said. "We’re on track to hit our growth numbers [this year], and we expect double-digit growth."
In September, Ruder Finn bought New Jersey-based healthcare internal comms agency SPI Group. Ruder Finn’s revenue grew 4% last year to $70.5 million, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report.