NEW YORK —  Morrow Sodali has hired former Ketchum global CEO Barri Rafferty to serve as CEO of the Americas.

In the newly created role, Rafferty will oversee the stakeholder engagement and ESG consulting firm’s operations in North and South America and is a member of the firm’s executive committee. Rafferty, who most recently led Wells Fargo communications, reports to global CEO Alvise Recchi.

In announcing the appointment, Morrow Sodali credited Rafferty’s ability to help evolve businesses and advocacy of DEI, as well as her recent work as interim CEO of women’s business leadership organization C200 and support of start-ups and mid-sized businesses as a consultant.

“As we continue to grow and expand our platform, we are focused on adding exceptional leadership talent to our team,” said Recchi. “Barri has global experience as a senior leader at dynamic companies and a track record of enhancing sales, building organizational effectiveness, and creating collaboration across teams. I am excited to welcome Barri to Morrow Sodali and am confident she will drive the growth of our Americas franchise.”

Said Rafferty, “I am excited to work closely with the leadership team at Morrow Sodali and our investors at TPG to continue to grow this global corporate consultancy and leverage the firm’s recent acquisitions in ESG and sustainability advisory services.

“As stakeholder relations becomes more complex, corporate governance and activism more pronounced, and the need for companies to take stands on ESG topics more controversial, Morrow Sodali has a unique role to play in enhancing corporate value.”

Separately, Morrow Sodali has also hired former Edelman Asia-Pacific corporate head Susan Redden Makatoa to lead its newly-created global corporate communications practice. Based in Sydney, Redden Makatoa's corporate communications practice will add to Morrow Sodali's existing services in corporate governance, ESG, capital markets, M&A and investor relations. 

Rafferty joins Morrow Sodali 18 months after stepping down from her role leading Wells Fargo communications less than two years after being tasked with cleaning up the bank’s image.

Rafferty joined Wells Fargo in July 2020 — a move that surprised industry observers given her position and long tenure at Ketchum. She became part of a new leadership team under CEO Charles Scharf and public affairs vice chairman Bill Daley, aiming to rebuild the company's reputation after its high-profile fake accounts scandal.

Rafferty, who was succeeded at Ketchum by Mike Doyle, had been with the Omnicom agency since 1995 — rising through the ranks in various leadership roles before being named as one of the first women to lead a global PR firm in 2017.