Fudge Prepares to Exit Y&R

NEW YORK Ann Fudge, chairman and CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands, is vacating that role nearly six months after Hamish McLennan replaced her as worldwide CEO of Y&R. She’s expected to leave on Dec. 31.

Fudge, 55, a former division president at Kraft Foods, joined the WPP Group agency network in May 2003 to lead both Y&R and Y&R Brands, a multidisciplinary group that includes Y&R, Wunderman, Burson-Marsteller, Landor Associates and Sudler & Hennessey. Her predecessor, Michael Dolan, also had the dual roles.

Going forward, however, the group position is not expected to be filled in part because each shop already has a CEO. Y&R said Fudge was retiring and “no immediate successor is planned at this time.”

In a statement, Fudge said: “The next phase of my career is about giving back, getting involved in the community and deepening my involvement in the nonprofit world.” She recently joined the boards of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Council on Foreign Relations and also serves on the boards of General Electric, Harvard and Morehouse College, among others.

McLennan stepped up to run Y&R in June, after serving as regional CEO of Y&R Brands in Australia and New Zealand. His first major appointment was Chris Jaques, who in October succeeded Gord McLean as North American CEO of Y&R. Jaques previously was CEO of Y&R Asia.

At the time of Jaques’ appointment, McLean shifted to the new post of global managing partner. McLennan, Jaques and McLean are all based in New York.