Hotwire, the global communications agency, announced the appointment of Heather Kernahan to chief executive officer of North America. Kernahan was previously the president of Hotwire North America and Australia, responsible for building the Hotwire brand in North America and Australia, agency growth and managing a team of high performers. She will continue overseeing Australia.
The announcement comes as Hotwire North America continues to accelerate with revenue growth of 21 percent in 2018 and double digit growth again in 2019. Hotwire has also added more than 20 new clients over the past year and expanded relationships with long term clients. Current clients include Pinterest, Adobe, Facebook, McAfee, Looker, Forge, project44 and NetApp. The agency has expanded into new locations with the launch of a Chicago office, doubled its footprint in Minneapolis and added staff at its New York and San Francisco offices.
This past June, the company expanded its strategy and marketing services globally with a successful merger with Australia-based sister agency, Precinct and was named Best PR Employer in the 2019 Mumbrella Comms Con Awards in Australia. Hotwire was also recently named a top place to work in 2019 by PR News and ranked third on Crain’s 2019 list of Best Places to Work in New York City. Kernahan is also a leading voice for the industry with her role on the Board of the PR Council.
“Heather is the driving force behind making sure Hotwire is the best agency you’ll ever work with,” said Barbara Bates, global CEO of Hotwire. “Heather’s limitless leadership in tackling the challenges and opportunities of a fast-growing business is something to celebrate. Not to mention all her contributions to the global organization. Heather constantly thinks about what’s next and has inspired our team to think further into the future. I could not ask for a better partner to lead the business.”
Kernahan was previously president of Eastwick, which was acquired by Hotwire in 2016. She became president of Hotwire North America following the acquisition. Bates will remain as Hotwire’s global CEO and Kernahan will continue to report to Bates, who oversees Hotwire’s global leadership team.
Kernahan is a global marketing and business leader with nearly 20 years of industry experience. Over the course of her career, she has held senior marketing and executive leadership roles at many Bay Area businesses including Eastwick, Enphase Energy and Autodesk and has focused on integrated brand communications strategies including campaign development, corporate marketing, product marketing, IPO and M&A communications strategy. Kernahan consistently offers her knowledge and expertise to her community. She has been a strategic advisor, speaker and mentor to many organizations such as NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center, Grand Central Tech, Women’s Startup Lab, Women to Watch Media, and Boatsetter and is an investment partner with Portfolia. Kernahan received her Masters in Business Administration in Sustainable Enterprise from Dominican University of California.