NEW YORK: Neera Chaudhary, Ketchum’s president of North America, is set to leave the agency, effective on Friday.
Chaudhary, a PRWeek Women of Distinction 2022 honoree, joined the Omnicom Group firm in February of last year. She also served as a member of Ketchum’s executive team and led talent development, client relationships, business growth and operational oversight for the agency in North America.
Mike Doyle, Ketchum’s president and CEO, confirmed Chaudhary’s exit in an internal memo seen by PRWeek and said separately that she “plans to take her career in a different direction.”
Chaudhary replaced Doyle, who was appointed North American leader in 2018, when Ketchum moved to a structure with one P&L. Until Chaudhary joined the firm, Doyle retained those duties after he replaced Barri Rafferty as president and CEO when she left to join Wells Fargo.
“[Chaudhary] has made a tremendous impact on Ketchum. Her veteran communications expertise and strategic consulting acumen contributed to the expansion of our client relationships, business growth, operational oversight, DEI strategy and talent pipeline,” Doyle said in the memo.
In terms of replacing Chaudhary, Doyle told PRWeek that the firm “won't be making any immediate moves for now; we will lean in a little more to the existing U.S. senior team, though that will not be the long-term solution."
"I've enjoyed my journey and successful tenure with an incredible team [at Ketchum]," Chaudhary said, adding that she does not have her next move lined up. "The world is not a straight line, so everything is on the table. I'm entertaining my options and taking the time to do that."
Before joining Ketchum, Chaudhary was Golin’s global president of healthcare, overseeing Golin Health and Virgo Health. Prior to Golin, Chaudhary worked in the Cohn & Wolfe healthcare practice and as a VP at Porter Novelli.
In January, Ketchum appointed Novartis’ Samantha Schwarz as MD and health portfolio leader of its North America health business. The agency also recently hired Jen Fuhrman-Kestler and Angelena Abate as EVPs and MDs.
This story was updated on July 11 with comment from Chaudhary.