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Nov. 21, 2008

PORTER NOVELLI RETRENCHES
 

Porter Novelli is revamping with the departure of “senior leaders” of its management team, according to an internal memo penned by Julie Winskie, who assumed the presidency of the Americas post Jan. 1 of this year. She has not yet been reached for comment on the Nov. 18 memo.

David Zucker, a PN partner, 19-year veteran and corporate responsibility pro, will find his next “adventure beyond our doors,” according to Winskie. He handled the “Truth Campaign,” “CauseWorks” and most recently launched “Greenfluencer.”

Peter Hirsch, who ran PN’s corporate practice for 14 years, will spend `09 wrapping up a business book and teaching a communications masters degree at Baruch College in NYC.

Boston managing director/partner Jim Barbagallo, who is credited for “having thrived on the intensity of the tech boom and surviving the tech burst shortly thereafter,” is leaving the Omnicom unit. He also made sure PN staffers had the “what’s right to win” attitude, noted Winskie.

Larry Paredes, PN’s first general counsel, is getting out of the PR business. He is going to BlackRock Kelso Capital as its lawyer.

Winskie salutes the accomplishments of “these amazing individuals” and invites their “continued engagement with PN as honored alumni.”

Their departure follows news that chairman Helen Ostrowski, who relinquished the CEO position to Gary Stockman last Jan. 1, is stepping down at the end of the year.

Ostrowski Looks at 'Big Picture'

Ostrowski says her decision to step down as chairman of Porter Novelli at yearend is part of a long-planned move to spend more time with family and friends.

As much as Ostrowski loves the PR business, she recognizes there are other things more important in life, she wrote in an email.

Ostrowski
Helen Ostrowski

She looks forward to a break after 40 years of work (she started out in PR in 1969), especially while young enough to do some of the things she and her husband love to do, such as sailing, kayaking, hiking and travel.

Ostrowski will remain on the board of the Arthur Page Society, International Youth Foundation (PN’s global pro bono client) and Rogers Williams University, where she chairs its strategic planning committee.

Down the road, Ostrowski will devote time to causes that she cares about since it is “a good time in our country to give back.”

Ostrowski was president of Wang Associates Health Communications before joining PN as head of healthcare in 1993. She became CEO in '03, making waves as the first female head of a PR multinational.

Ostrowski began a PR career at American Cyanamid and worked at Schering-Plough before moving to agency life.

Gary Stockman succeeded Ostrowski as PN CEO Jan. 1, '08.

 
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