NEW YORK--Chris Gidez has become the latest appointment to Hill & Knowlton’s global leadership team, heading up the firm’s crisis practice.

Gidez was previously head of H&K’s US risk management and crisis communications specialty group. He will now report directly to chairman & CEO Jack Martin, who took over the reins of the agency at the start of this year.

Gidez’s appointment follows the promotion of Amanda Groty to global strategy head at Hill & Knowlton earlier this month. Since taking charge, Martin has also installed Ken Luce as global COO, and appointed Duncan Burns and Andrew Bleeker to head energy and digital, respectively.

“Critical to our continued success is the ability to offer a level of crisis counsel that exceeds that of our competition,” said Luce in a statement. “Chris’s expertise in developing and managing crisis communications strategies for numerous high-profile global companies, will undoubtedly help strengthen our crisis offer worldwide, and prove beneficial to our clients facing or anticipating crisis situations.”

Prior to joining H&K in 2005, Gidez worked at Chevron and, before that, Texaco - where he served in a number of leadership roles.