Kekst Promotes Larry Rand to Chief Executive; Gershon Kekst Moves to Advisory Role

Day to day operations of the powerful IR and M&A PR shop Kekst, Inc. will no longer be handled by namesake Gershon Kekst. Senior partner Larry Rand will become Chief Executive effective September 1st, while Kekst moves to the advisory role of executive chairman.
Kekst founded the firm 40 years ago, and sold it to Publicis Group SA two summers ago. Publicis combined its PR holdings including MS&L Worldwide, Publicis Consultants Worldwide, PublicisLive, Publicis Meetings, Emotion, Freud, and Kekst & Co under the name MS&L Group last November.
Full text of the Rand and Kekst’s memos to staff are after the jump:

July 29, 2010
To All Staff
It is my pleasure to share with you the appointment of Larry Rand as Kekst & Company’s president and chief executive officer, effective Sept. 1, 2010.
While it is my desire is to step away from the daily management of the firm at this time, I do plan to remain active in a newly created role as executive chairman, continuing to work closely with clients and mentoring our colleagues.
As I pass the baton to Larry, who has played such a key role here throughout our history, he will communicate with you his plans for the firm’s leadership structure and, very importantly, how we will continue to capitalize on present and future strategic growth opportunities.
Implicit in our planning and his leadership are three important and fundamental objectives:
1. Ensuring the highest quality of work and professional service on behalf of our clients.
2. Building on our brand and competitive positioning.
3. Laying the groundwork for growth while setting the stage for future firm leadership and exciting management/career opportunities for our professionals.
In appointing Larry, I fully appreciate that over the years we have developed very significant professional strengths and experience throughout the firm which, I believe, are second-to-none in the public relations business. Ours is a unique firm whose collective experience and judgment are highly-regarded in the marketplace…among our clients and those independent advisers who refer us into matters in which they believe we can make a meaningful difference. Therefore, inherent in the ability to lead a ‘special’ firm such as ours, is the requisite management skill set to permit our extraordinarily talented people to do what they do best and to foster a culture in which they can flourish…professionally and personally.
Larry is uniquely qualified for this responsibility. I eagerly anticipate his energetic leadership of Kekst & Company.
Please join me in congratulating Larry on his appointment.
Thank you!
Internal memo from Mr. Rand:
To All Staff
As we considered how best to transition the leadership of the firm, there were several key objectives–the most important of which was that any change should be evolutionary in nature and have, as its underpinning, the goal of fostering meaningful growth and setting a clear path for our future. We hope today’s announcement meets both objectives.
As always, an important pillar for growing the firm is to have a management structure that enables us to take advantage of the many opportunities that exist in the marketplace. For a firm such as ours, with the enviable reputation we have earned over the decades, we must have a structure that is entrepreneurial in nature, fosters innovation and creativity, encourages people to “think outside the box,” and provides us with the best ways for us to fully capitalize on those opportunities.
To this end, I am delighted that in his new role as executive chairman, Gershon will continue to be active with clients and continue to mentor our people as well as being one of our most important sounding boards. For his agreeing to do this, I speak for all of us by saying how extremely grateful we are.