The Cycle

Winskie address Porter Novelli rumors

Julie Winskie, Porter Novelli’s Americas president, recently addressed industry rumors about the agency’s SF office, which recently lost MD Steve Spurgeon. Winskie told PRWeek that PN’s San Francisco office had about 100 staffers two years ago and now employs about 35 to 40 people, but that the departures were absolutely not a “mass exodus” as one blogger called it.

“We’ve had people leaving for a variety of reasons,” she said. “Some are by choice and some are corrections, but we’re not going to be able to comment on any of those individually.”Spurgeon’s staff are now reporting to Bob Wynne, an EVP based in San Francisco. There are no plans to close the office or to make any acquisitions, but there are also no immediate plans to hire another managing director. “With that, we are taking the opportunity to create a more distributed leadership model,” Winksie noted, adding that the agency’s culture, growth, visibility in the market place, and talent retention/recruitment will be distributed among Wynne, Margaret Mathis, and Kevin Winston in the San Francisco office.

“San Francisco has been and will be again a significant part of the US portfolio and one of our anchor full-service offices,” she said. “We expect that to mean explosive growth both in terms of client and talent. And we expect it to be the anchor our technology business worldwide.”

Longterm plans also include diversifying PN’s San Francisco portfolio to include clients outside the tech sector, such as food, alternative fuel, and hospitality, she added.

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