SKDK names Doug Thornell as CEO

Former top executive Josh Isay will assume the role of senior counsel.

Doug Thornell becomes CEO at the end of the year.
Doug Thornell becomes CEO at the end of the year.

WASHINGTON: SKDK has promoted Doug Thornell to CEO, effective at the end of the year. 

Thornell will oversee day-to-day operations alongside partners Bill Knapp, Kerri Lyon, Mike Morey and Jill Zuckman, and continue to advise the agency’s political, corporate and nonprofit clients. Thornell could not be immediately reached for further comment.

Current SKDK CEO Josh Isay will transition into a senior counsel role, advising the firm’s leadership. He led the company for over 20 years along with founding partners Knapp, Anita Dunn, Jennifer Cunningham and Hilary Rosen.

Thornell has spent 12 years at SKDK, most recently as partner, where he manages the agency’s paid media and political consulting practice.

Before SKDK, Thornell was a senior media strategist for the Democratic National Committee, the top spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and a senior aide at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

SKDK has approximately 215 employees, with offices in Washington, DC, New York City, Albany and Los Angeles. 

Thornell was also a member of PRWeek’s 40 under 40 class in 2015

SKDK, which is owned by Stagwell Group, has amassed $90 million in annual revenue, according to a company statement. 

In March, SKDK hired Mariel Sáez as SVP of public affairs in its Washington, DC, office. 

At the end of the same month, vice chair and managing director Rosen left the agency.


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