LONDON — Ketchum has appointed its first chief growth officer for Europe as it seeks to expand its work across the region, hiring Heather Blundell in the role from Weber Shandwick. 

Blundell will also be Ketchum’s new UK corporate managing director. She will take on the new positions on 23 May, reporting to Ketchum’s CEO UK and global client solutions Jo-ann Robertson.

At Weber Shandwick, Blundell has been managing director, UK client counsel since 2019, leading on sustainability and social purpose campaigns including Iceland Foods’ award-winning ‘Rang-tan’ palm oil campaign. Before joining Weber Shandwick in 2016, she spent seven years at Edelman.

Blundell also led Weber Shandwick’s Manchester office; in that post, she has been succeeded by corporate leader Dean Gallagher, who has been promoted to Manchester MD as part of a tranche of senior changes at the IPG agency in the UK.

In her new European role, Blundell will work with Robertson and Ketchum’s Europe president and international COO Mark Hume to identify growth opportunities and add new pan-European clients to the agency’s roster.

In the UK role, she will work with the senior corporate team to “reimagine what a modern corporate reputation offer looks like, strengthening the team and building a client base that is the envy of the industry,” said Robertson.

Robertson told PRovoke Media: “I met Heather at [former Weber Shandwick EMEA CEO] Colin Byrne’s retirement party four years ago and knew immediately that we would work together one day. She is a unique mix of generous and collaborative leader, commercially savvy, and a client whisperer. She also says what she thinks, innovates, and isn’t afraid to move fast to get the right results for her people and her clients.”

The new dual role, said Robertson, would enable Ketchum “to maximise Heather’s strengths." She added: "I know she will add something special to our outstanding senior leadership bench at Ketchum. I am personally looking forward to Heather’s partnership and I am counting down the minutes to her walking through our agency doors.”

Blundell told PRovoke Media: "It has been an honour and a privilege to spend the last seven years at Weber Shandwick, leading some of the agency’s biggest clients and working with some of the very best talent in the industry.

"I am in incredibly excited to join the Ketchum team. I have watched and admired Jo-ann’s incredible leadership, she has cultivated the most progressive agency in the UK and she is supported by a team who have an unparalleled focus on high quality work. To be part of Ketchum’s dynamic EMEA and UK leadership team was an opportunity that I couldn’t turn down and I cannot wait to get started.”