NEW YORK—Veteran corporate public relations specialist Chris Atkins is leaving Ketchum, where he was global corporate director, to take on a similar role as global head of the corporate practice at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.
Atkins will take over from Al Tortorella, who is taking on a new role as managing director, global crisis management. Tortorella, who was a crisis communications specialist at Burson-Marsteller before joining Ogilvy, will relocate to the firm’s Los Angeles office, and continue to serve as a resource for crisis management and corporate issues around the global network.
Meanwhile, Rob Flaherty will take over Atkins’ role at Ketchum, at least on an interim basis. Flaherty led the corporate practice before Atkins’ arrival and is currently senior partner of global practices for the firm. Ketchum said in a statement that it “will be evaluating leadership options over the next few weeks and hope to appoint a director of the practice in the near future.”
Atkins, who worked on the Fed Ex, New York Stock Exchange and Delta Air Lines accounts at Ketchum, is co-author of the book Image Wars: Protecting Your Company When There’s No Place to Hide, and has counseled clients including Citicorp, Fidelity, MetLife, PNC Bank, ConEd, AT&T, MCI and Sprint. Like Tortorella, he is a veteran of the corporate practice at Burson-Marsteller.
“During his time here at Ketchum Chris has made many contributions,” said the agency in a statement. “Foremost among them was his leadership of our global corporate practice into one of the best in the business.”