Strahan Wallis will step into the role of managing director of Porter Novelli New Zealand on 1 January 2014.
This move sees Wallis, who currently works as the Porter Novelli general manager, take the position of Jane Sweeney, who will be leaving the company at the end of the year after approximately nine years of service.
Sweeney, who also serves as the director of the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation, recently told Stuff that she was going “to chill out for a while and then embrace some new activities with renewed vigour.”
Despite the loss of Sweeney’s experience, Jim Moser, CEO of the Clemenger Group, expressed confidence in a senior team that consists of Wallis and executive directors Sarah Williams and Carolyn Kerr.
“Porter Novelli has an outstanding leadership team in Strahan, Sarah and Carolyn and any one of them could have stepped into the role. For that reason we didn’t consider it necessary to look outside of the agency. Sarah and Carolyn chose not to apply for the role, although they were encouraged to do so,” he said.
Wallis has been on the Porter Novelli payroll since April 2009, when he joined as a senior account director from KPMG. Shortly thereafter, in 2011, he was promoted to the general manager role he currently holds.
He has pinpointed reputation management as one of the key areas that he will be focusing on when he steps into his new role.
“Reputation management is more exciting, dynamic and important now than it’s ever been and it is vital the public relations discipline is at the forefront. Our role at Porter Novelli is to help organisations navigate and win in reputation management within an evolving communications landscape. I’m personally looking forward to this challenge immensely and I know the same goes across our team,” he said.