Kessel, Ross Rise at RTCRM

NEW YORK Two senior executives at WPP Group’s RTC Relationship Marketing have stepped up to fill the roles left vacant by the November departure of president and CEO Becky Chidester.

Co-managing directors Barry Kessel and Jeffrey Ross have become CEO and president, respectively, at the Washington, D.C.-based shop, the agency said. Kessel, 56, and Ross, 49, will be based in Washington and oversee both that office and the shop’s satellite in New York.

Chidester left to become chief operating officer at sister shop Wunderman in New York. At that time, Kessel and Ross absorbed day-to-day leadership duties at RTCRM. Now they are assuming the top two jobs at the shop, whose clients include AARP Services, Abbott Laboratories, Sanofi-Aventis and Weight Watchers.

RTCRM, which specializes in customer relationship management, was acquired by WPP in 1989 and became an arm of the larger direct marketing agency Wunderman in 2002. Wunderman and RTC are units of WPP’s Young & Rubicam Brands.