Ken Luce Named as Hill & Knowlton Global COO
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Ken Luce Named as Hill & Knowlton Global COO

Former Weber Shandwick veteran Ken Luce has been named as Hill & Knowlton’s new global COO, following the high-profile resignations of global CEO Paul Taaffe and US chairman Marylee Sachs.

Holmes Report

By Arun Sudhaman

NEW YORK: Former Weber Shandwick veteran Ken Luce has been named as Hill & Knowlton’s new global COO, following the high-profile resignations of global CEO Paul Taaffe and US chairman Marylee Sachs.

Luce is the first major hire by new H&K global CEO Jack Martin, whose public affairs agency PSI merged with its WPP sibling in November 2010.

Luce, who spent 14 years in a variety of senior roles at Weber Shandwick, is expected to bring a particular focus to the management and expansion of H&K’s global client relationships - a role he performed with distinction at his former firm. He reports to Martin, and will be largely based at the firm’s New York HQ.

In addition to client servicing, Luce will also oversee marketing and human resources. He joins H&K after departing his Weber Shandwick role of Southwest president in October 2010. Prior to that, Luce was president of global client management at the agency, where he spearheaded growth of the firm’s multi-market client relationships.

“Global clients for every firm are important and being able to work seamlessly across continents, even geographies within a country, is very important,” said Luce to the Holmes Report. “I will be working to expand our capabilities in this area.”

“To me, it was a very unique opportunity,” he added. “I have great respect for how Jack Martin views the business.”

In a statement, Martin said that Luce’s experience “will be instrumental in continuing to target client service as our number one objective.”

“I will absolutely be looking to globalise our client relationships more,” said Luce. “Collaboration between offices and people are really the simple key to great client work and global work. The heritage exists at H&K that makes me feel very confident about great global work for clients.”

Before joining Weber Shandwick, Luce managed the first statewide campaign of now-Governor Rick Perry, when he ran for Texas Agriculture Commissioner, and was statewide campaign finance consultant for State Controller Carole Keeton Rylander and other elected officials. He was also vice president of national marketing for Paragon Group, president of Celebrations Marketing Group and president of KWL Consulting.
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