In what looks like a strong pivot toward the tech sector, Ketchum orchestrated a game of musical chairs involving several top executives within its San Francisco-based Access Communications shop and its Global Technology Practice this week.
Partner Susan Butenhoff, who founded Access and served as both president and CEO there until this week, will now serve as director of the firm’s tech practice while retaining the title of chief at Access.
Matthew Afflixio, who worked under her as EVP/creative director, has been promoted to president.
At the same time, New York-based partner Esty Pujadas transitions out of the director position now held by Butenhoff to act as the larger firm’s global development officer; she previously served in both jobs at once and will report to senior partner/CEO of international operations Jon Higgins.
The ultimate goal of these changes seems to be consolidating leadership in the interest of winning more big-name tech clients, many of whom partner with smaller and (presumably) more nimble firms.
Butenhoff will use her two decades in tech to try and achieve that goal; she will report to both partner/Global Practices managing director Hilary Hanson McKean on the Ketchum side and North American CEO Barri Rafferty on the Access side.