Rafferty, who joined Ketchum in 1994, has led its North America business since 2012. She will continue to lead in the region, and grow its Ketchum Sports & Entertainment and Ketchum Digital practices. She will also continue to oversee complementary businesses Access Emanate Communications, Capstrat and Harrison & Shriftman.
The shift follows Ray Kotcher’s transition to non-executive chairman in January, Ketchum’s recently announced global leadership changes, and the establishment of a new Global Leadership Council.
Rafferty said: “I am honoured to assume the role of president from Rob, and I appreciate his confidence in me. Ketchum is filled with amazingly talented people, and I am motivated to unleash their full potential, to continue to champion innovation that anticipates client needs, and to enhance our creative resources and borderless approach to deliver business-building work. It is a great time for our industry and for Ketchum, and I am thrilled to be part of this exciting journey.”
Flaherty added: “An innovator and change agent for the firm for more than 20 years, Barri is distinctly qualified. She has a proven track record of anticipating the next shift in the marketing-communications landscape and blazing a path for new practice areas and divisions to meet our clients’ needs, delivering breakthrough results, and developing and empowering our people to be successful.”
Ketchum is an Omnicom firm and has operations in more than 70 countries across six continents. The US is its most profitable region.