Cramer-Krasselt Elevates Two as Part of Succession Plan

Marshall Ross, Karen Seaman Ascend to Vice Chairman, President

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Cramer-Krasselt is establishing the agency's future management team by elevating two execs, Marshall Ross and Karen Seamen, to vice chairman and president, respectively. As part of the move, agency leader Peter Krivkovich is giving up his president title -- after 25 years -- and moving into the post of chairman-CEO.

Although there's no timeline for his retirement, the move is part of a succession plan for Mr. Krivkovich. He joined Cramer-Krasselt in 1981 when he sold his Chicago agency to the shop, and has been CEO since 1998.

The agency ranks as the second largest U.S. independent shop. In addition to its flagship has offices in New York, Phoenix and Milwaukee. Its clients include Heinz, Porsche, Corona and Panera Bread.

"This company has been around for 115 years and has always been passed down from generation to generation of management," said Mr. Krivkovich. "My previous boss, who just passed away, basically said to me, 'you're going to be one of the guys that runs this place, so watch what I do'." In some senses, there's a similar process going on here as prepares to eventually hand the reins over to Mr. Ross and Ms. Seamen. Though in their case, he notes that they've already been "the driving force in the company" for some time now.

A longtime C-K staffer, Ms. Seamen was named EVP-general manager of the Chicago flagship in 2006 and four years later, made chief operating officer. Mr. Ross joined C-K in 1995 as an executive creative director and was named the agency's first chief creative in 2006.

C-K has always been a fiercely independent shop. Asked whether it'd stay that way even after his departure, Mr. Krivkovich said: "I would hope so and think so."

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