BOSTON—Janet Swayzland is stepping down from her role as president of Brodeur Worldwide as the agency restructures its senior management ranks as part of an initiative to provide broader consulting services and diversify operations beyond its technology business and into the healthcare and financial services sectors.
According to agency chief executive Andy Coville (formerly Carney), the changes come as a result of a research project carried out last year.
“What we saw was public relations becoming more commoditized, and an increasing focus on media relations,” she says. “We hired a research firm and talked to our clients about what they were going to want from us in the future, looking at ways we could differentiate ourselves and find a way into the C-suite.
“As a result, we felt we needed to bring in people with a consulting background, with a broader marketing background, as well as people with expertise in healthcare and financial services.” Coville says she expects to make about 10 such hires this year.
At the same time, Coville says, Swayzland was evaluating her role at the agency. “Janet did a great job of aligning the agency, of handling a host of operational issues. But we were looking to get more billability from our senior staff and Janet decided she would focus on consulting with a few select clients. She wanted a job with a strong operational focus.”
She will continue to consult with Brodeur at least through the middle of the year, as will two other executives who are stepping down from their current roles: Zanku Armenian, who oversaw the agency’s western region, and John Smith, who was head of the healthcare practice.
The U.S. company will feature a leadership team of eight senior staff, in addition to Coville and chairman John Brodeur. The eight include: Ray Thomas, executive vice president, who manages consumer technology and health technology teams, along with the Western Region operations and business development; Jerry Johnson, executive VP, who leads the Washington, D.C., and New York offices; Steve Marchant, senior VP in the Boston office; Terresa Christenson, senior VP and head of the San Francisco and Phoenix offices; Mike Brewer, executive VP in Boston; Jan Lawlor, senior VP in Boston; Judy Feder, senior VP in New York; and Beth Ann Kaminkow, who heads human resources for the firm.
Coville says she is optimistic about 2004. “It’s clear that the psychology of the market has changed for the better,” she wrote in a letter to clients this week. “There’s more optimism about the U.S. economy, actually the best in about four years. It’s a whole new ballgame out there, one that requires companies to overhaul their communications approach, and adopt a new way of thinking. We like how 2004 is starting. Things are definitely picking up.”