SAN JOSE, CA — AxiCom’s Steve Kerns has been named Big Valley Marketing’s first CMO — the firm’s second hire of a former AxiCom senior leader this year.

Kerns, AxiCom’s North America managing director, will serve as a senior consultant to key clients as well as lead Big Valley’s sales and marketing efforts.

He will report to founder and CEO Tim Marklein and president Katie Huang Shin, the former AxiCom North America president who assumed her Big Valley role in April. Shin joined Big Valley three months after her departure from Axicom, BCW's tech specialty agency, which coincided with the installation of Matt Lackie as the firm’s new global CEO.

Kerns brings more than two decades of industry experience to the role, which includes serving as an AxiCom’s North America MD for most of the last two years. Before that, he was general manager of WE Communications’ San Francisco office, where Huang Shin also worked before her 2020 move to AxiCom.

“Steve has unique perspective on what’s right and what’s wrong in the traditional agency landscape, which makes him a valuable addition to our team as we define what’s next,” said Marklein. “Our highly consultative approach starts in the business development process, as we help clients clarify their most critical needs and outcomes – and define the best playbook to achieve those outcomes. Most clients know they need something different, and we plan to continue pushing the envelope with new thinking and new systems.”