Alan Ziegaus, a partner and former president of local public relations heavyweight Stoorza, Ziegaus & Metzger, announced earlier this month that he is leaving the firm as of Feb. 29.
It completes a planned changing of the guard at Stoorza, which is the largest-grossing PR firm based in San Diego.
“I just have some other business opportunities I want to pursue, in a slightly different way, and I wanted to be free to do those,” Ziegaus said. “I couldn’t do those within the structure of the agency.”
He’s not talking about those plans, for now.
However, Ziegaus did say that he’s not leaving the industry. “I’ll still be in this same line of work,” he said.
By design, Ziegaus relinquished his position as president last year. David DePinto, who headed the West Coast operations of international PR firm Ketchum, had been hired in July after a seven-month search.
DePinto’s title also included that of CEO, which had previously been held by agency founder Gail Stoorza-Gill.
At the time, Stoorza-Gill had said the firm, entering its 25th year, needed a new perspective.
Last week, Ziegaus said his own departure has been in the works for a “considerable” amount of time, before the search for his replacement had been launched. DePinto’s hiring was to prepare the firm, he said.
“That was all a part of me departing, which was to make sure that the company was in great shape , which it is, with strong management in place , and now I feel that it’s an appropriate and proper time for me to leave,” he said.
In a release, Stoorza-Gill said Ziegaus has been a major factor in the firm’s present success.
“We will greatly miss his wit, wisdom and counsel in our day-to-day activities,” she said.
Ziegaus’ responsibilities at Stoorza have included overseeing its outside offices, which now include Sacramento, Los Angeles and Riverside, and managing the firm’s political consulting firm, Campaign Strategies, Inc. in Downtown.
After 20 years at Stoorza, moving on is difficult, he said. “You care intensely about both the company and the people and so it’s very hard to leave.” Ziegaus began as a reporter for the former San Diego Evening Tribune. He has worked for the city of San Diego, local PR agency The Gable Group, and former Gov. Pete Wilson.