Ketchum ups Amanda Kowal Kenyon to chief employee experience officer

She will coordinate with regional and local HR leaders for talent strategy.

Ketchum ups Amanda Kowal Kenyon to chief employee experience officer

NEW YORK: Ketchum has promoted partner Amanda Kowal Kenyon from chief organizational effectiveness officer to chief employee experience officer. 

In the newly created role, Kowal Kenyon will partner with Ketchum's regional and local HR leaders to carry out the firm’s global talent strategy and vision. She will join the firm's executive leadership team and report to CEO Mike Doyle

Ketchum's previous chief HR officer and general counsel Craig Mersky left the firm in February to work as associate general counsel at parent company Omnicom. 

Leading the firm's global talent function, Kowal Kenyon is charged with driving consistency in employee responsibilities, career pathing, performance evaluation, and rewards and recognition.

"I will be working with our regional and local talent leaders around the world to bring that talent strategy to life so that we can have a consistent, vibrant, global cultural experience that helps every Ketchum colleague feel that they're better for being here in the Ketchum family," Kowal Kenyon said.

Diversity, equity and inclusion is a large part of that strategy, said Kowal Kenyon.

"Our overall goal is to ensure that over time our employee population, from a composition standpoint, more closely resembles the stakeholders that we're serving," she said. "We're already seeing terrific advancements in some of our recruitment strategies, hiring plans and development opportunities that are ever more inclusive for our existing colleagues."

Kowal Kenyon has spent almost 25 years at Ketchum, first as SVP at Ketchum's change management unit Stromberg Consulting, which Ketchum acquired in 2001, and then director of strategy and organizational effectiveness.  

She was named Ketchum’s first chief organizational effectiveness officer in 2016, where she led the firm’s executive functions focused on employee learning, development and growth through times of organizational change. 

Kowal Kenyon chose to stay at the firm because her managers gave her the freedom to explore new avenues in her career without leaving—a quality she plans to continue in her new role by making improvements in Ketchum University, Ketchum's manager development program. 

"The leadership at every turn has been so supportive of helping co-create a custom journey based on my expertise and business needs at the time," she said. "I want this to be a vibrant, enriching home where every single colleague feels that the time they spend at Ketchum is time that they are made better for that time."

Kowal Kenyon will continue to oversee the firm's global organizational effectiveness and learning and development functions, but said the agency is not opposed to hiring additional support to help with these duties in the future. 

Longtime Ketchum chairman Rob Flaherty retired in May after 32 years at the agency. 

Global revenue at the firm fell 5% to $476 million in 2020, with 75% of revenue coming from existing clients, according to PRWeek's 2021 Agency Business Report.

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