NEW YORK—Al Tortorella, one of the most respected crisis communications counselors in the public relations business, has joined Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide as managing director and head of the global corporate practice.
Tortorella joins Ogilvy after spending more than two decades at sister agency Burson-Marsteller (both are owned by WPP), where he held various executive positions, including vice chairman, corporate executive office. He has represented clients including Tylenol, American Airlines, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Kraft, General Electric and General Motors.
“Al joins us at a time when companies are looking to public relations agencies to provide strong corporate and crisis management counsel,” said Ogilvy chief executive Marcia Silverman. “Having one of the most notable individuals in this sector join Ogilvy PR will help continue to provide our corporate clients with the best talent in the industry.”
In addition to his time at Burson-Marsteller, Tortorella held positions at General Electric, The Wall Street Journal, and UST.
“Ogilvy PR’s unique branding approach to corporate and crisis management was one of the two main factors in my decision to join Ogilvy PR,” he said. “Another important factor was the group of individuals, in both Ogilvy PR’s senior management team and corporate practice, that I will be associated with in continuing the great work of the corporate group.”
Ogilvy’s corporate practice includes groups that specialize in workplace performance, business-to-business communications, crisis and issues management, financial & investor relations, labor relations and executive visibility.
Tortorella takes the reins from London-based Rob Shimmin, who has headed the practice since July 2000. Shimmin will now take on a broader role as managing director for the Europe, Africa and Middle East (EAME) region, a new position overseeing business development, client service and brand visibility for Ogilvy regionally.