Porter names Ramah chief client officer, Resk CFO

NEW YORK: Porter Novelli has appointed Michael Ramah chief client officer, effective immediately. He spent the last six months of 2012 serving as interim CEO.

NEW YORK: Porter Novelli has appointed Michael Ramah chief client officer, effective immediately. He spent the last six months of 2012 serving as interim CEO.

Ramah, a 25-year Porter veteran, served as global director of strategy for nearly four years before stepping into the helm as acting chief executive when former CEO Gary Stockman left the firm in June 2012. He will report directly to Karen van Bergen, who took over the global CEO role in January after serving as senior partner and MD of the firm's New York office.

Patrick Resk has joined Porter as CFO, according to the agency website. He succeeds Anthony Viceroy, who departed from the agency last summer. Before joining Porter, Resk served as VP of finance-operations for Omnicom Group's Diversified Agency Services division.

Ramah's role, while not entirely new, has not been held for several years and is newly defined, he said. Julie Winskie, former Porter president of Americas, also held the role of chief client officer before leaving the agency in January 2012.

Some of Ramah's responsibilities will include working on the agency's top accounts globally and looking beyond specific tasks assigned by clients to give them greater context and impact.

“I'm charged with working with in-house teams and client teams," he explained. "I'm looking for ways to maximize our potential and their potential for meaningful growth.”

Ramah wants to look at new ways to engage clients to solve communications issues using the firm's tools and skills and enhance client relationships, he added.

“What I love also about [the new role] is I get to work with everybody in the agency to help make things better for them,” noted Ramah. “It's a nice transition after having been acting as the CEO to be able to extend that opportunity to them.”

The director of global strategy role will not immediately be filled because Porter is “working on redefining the product, which will actually be a tangible product and a function,” said Ramah, who added that the strategy division will continue reporting into him.

In June, Michael Goldberg, former CMO at Porter, exited the agency. Ramah said there is no plan at the moment to appoint someone to the position. The chief marketing responsibilities reside within the executive committee, the MDs, and Ramah, who acts as the executive sponsor.

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