One Y&R createdY&R announced today that it is launching a new agency model for its North American operations — a single, borderless, boundaryless agency in North America organized around a unified North America P&L. As part of the new model, the agency is also creating a Catalyst Team — a small, crossdisciplinary team of innovative thinkers committed to fresh perspectives and insights, ready to be deployed on client partner business across North America.
"In the past 25 years, our client partners have made vast changes to the way they operate," said Ann Fudge, Chairman and CEO of Y&R and its parent company, Young & Rubicam Brands. "Yet our industry still works very much the same way it did nearly 30 years ago."
She continued: "Thirty years ago, Young & Rubicam staked its future on pioneering the integrated communications model. Today, we are re-inventing the way we create the ideas and the way we work with our client partners so that we can better deliver ideas that help drive tangible business results. This new model gives us greater entrepreneurial freedom and flexibility tobuild the right teams and access the right resources for all of our client partners."
One Y&R: A New Way of Working
The new model is organized around client partners completely: from a unified North America P&L to a flat agency structure. In six North American operations — Chicago, Detroit, Irvine, New York, San Francisco and Toronto — we are eliminating the CEO role for individualoffices. The geographic heads of office now become North American Managing Partners with responsibility for local client partners and for attracting, developing and retaining the best, most dynamic talent.
These roles will be assumed by Kary McIlwain in Chicago, Don Williams in Detroit, David Murphy in Irvine, Mary Maroun in New York, Penny Baldwin in San Francisco and Chris Jordan in Toronto. Ms. Maroun, a veteran of Grey in South Africa, TBWA/Chiat Day and her own highly entrepreneurial agency, has demonstrated a strong ability to build businesses and teams.
Strategic and Creative Focus
The new agency model is designed to deploy the people and resources where they can have the strongest impact on Y&R’s client partners’ businesses Michael Patti is being promoted to Vice Chairman of Y&R, where he will focus on Global Creative Director responsibilities. "Michael has tremendous creative instincts and ability. I have asked him to make sure that our creative work is the absolute best everywhere, not only by setting high creative standards but by his active participation across our entire global network," stated Ms. Fudge.
"I couldn’t be more excited," stated Michael Patti. We are really transforming the way this agency works — and I know that the benefits of change will be obvious in our work and in the results it helps our client partners achieve," he added.
As mentioned, Ms. Fudge has also created and will be spearheading a new group in North America — the Catalyst Team, which begins with five extremely talented individuals:
John Morris, Chief Growth Officer, is a 22-year veteran of Y&R and Managing Partner of the Young & Rubicam Brands Microsoft business. Prior to this he was chief operating officer of New York. Morris will be a resource to client teams, helping them create new ways of configuring people and resources to meet client partner challenges. He will also lead business development for Y&R NA.
Matt Eastwood, the award-winning creative, joins Y&R from M&C Saatchi, where he was Founding Partner, and has held top creative roles in Australia, Europe and the U.S. since 1996. Eastwood will serve as Catalyst Executive Creative Director, sharing his expertise and commitment to ideas that can cross multiple channels.
Jon Cropper, joining as Creative Content and Channel Strategist, responsible for marking channel strategy and innovation an important part of the thinking brought to client partners. Cropper’s background includes positions at Nissan, MTV, Quincy Jones Entertainment, and IdeaSpa.
David Yakir, Chief Digital Officer, Y&R’s digital and interactive guru is a 20-year veteran of the advertising, marketing and entertainment industries. He was the founder of Blue Marble Advanced Communications Group (a top-five interactive agency in the 1990s) and joined Y&R in 2003.
John Gerzema, one of the industry’s most innovative and highly respected strategic thinkers joins as Chief Insights Officer. Gerzema has spent the past 13 years at Fallon, where he gained an international reputation as a creative brand strategist from his work on brands that include Coca-Cola, McDonald’s Nikon, Time Warner, among others.