Ketchum Realigns Leadership Team for Germany

Operating across eight cities, the newly formed Ketchum group is one of the largest communications consultancies in the country.

Global public relations network, Ketchum, has moved to align its brands, Ketchum Pleon, Brandzeichen, and Emanate, in Germany with immediate effect. Operating across eight cities, the newly formed group is one of the largest combined communications consultancies in the country.

Current Brandzeichen lead, Victoria Wagner (pictured), has been appointed Ketchum CEO in said market, while Simone Hoch, Managing Partner at Pleon Munich, is to assume the role of COO. Meanwhile, 20-year agency veteran and Pleon CEO, Dirk Popp, has made the decision to resign.

Germany is the only country still operating under the Ketchum Pleon name. In 2010, Emanate penetrated the same market, and three years later, the group acquired Brandzeichen, creative brand public relations form. Up to this point, all three agencies have operated independent of each other.

Wagner started Brandzeichen in 2004, a leading lifestyle agency operating in Düsseldorf, Munich, and Hamburg. Her experience in marketing and communications leadership spans almost two decades, and includes a stint at Henkel, where she was previously Head of Brand Communications.

The new CEO, Hoch, and Horst Wettlaufer, the brand’s Chief Financial Officer, will form Germany’s Executive Board. Hoch joined 16 years ago, and presently leads the office in Munich and has worked in the area of corporate communications consulting for more than 15 years.

The board will work closely with the leadership teams from all three agencies to establish a framework which works best for clients and talent. Meanwhile, Susanne Kochs, MD at Emanate, which is based in Munich, will become Deputy Director for the same office, in addition to Lutz Reuter.

“By grouping these three businesses together, we are creating a consultancy in Germany that stands out from the crowd in terms of breadth of client services, innovative thinking, depth of strategic and creative talent as well as geographical reach,” said Rob Flaherty, CEO and President of Ketchum.