Kamer, Kafafian Leave in GCI Restructuring
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Holmes Report

Kamer, Kafafian Leave in GCI Restructuring

GCI has announced the departure of two senior executives, Larry Kamer and Lori Kafafian, and the closure of its Boulder office as part of a major restructuring.

Paul Holmes

NEW YORK, October 1—Larry Kamer joined GCI Group in February of 1999, when the agency acquired Kamer-Singer & Associates, a corporate and public affairs agency in San Francisco. Lori Kafafian was hired three months later as managing director of worldwide human resources, hailed by CEO Bob Feldman as “one of the true stars of the business” who would “help us create the best environment for our employees worldwide.”
Now both are gone, following a restructuring that also includes the closure of the firm’s Boulder, Colo., office, opened last year to serve technology clients. The Boulder office worked for clients including netLibrary and Storagetek. 
“But the market is generally soft,” says Feldman. “We will service these companies out of our San Francisco office where we have deep and relevant expertise.” Eight people are affected by the downsizing.  Dianne Gleason, worldwide head of GCI’s technology practice and a Boulder resident, will continue as head of the practice.
Kamer will be launching his own firm, Kamer Consulting Group, which will continue his work in the public affairs, risk management, and crisis management arenas. “These are issues people are thinking about in a very different way since September 11,” says Kamer, who says he will be based in the Bay Area but will operate nationally.
The loss of Kamer marks a continuation of a stormy year for GCI in the Bay Area, beginning with the departure of his partner, Sam Singer, in December of 2000. The office got a new managing director with the appointment of Martin Alintuck in April and played a major role when the firm added the Dell Computer account last month.
The departure of Kafafian comes as more of a shock, given GCI’s high-profile commitment to building a strong employee culture. Feldman acknowledged the loss: “Lori’s departure is very tough for me, since I personally recruited her. She’s a world-class professional. But the economy has turned dramatically and shows no immediate signs of improvement. As such, our human resources efforts are being pushed down to the local and regional levels with less emphasis on the global overlay.”
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