Ogilvy’s Wright Replaces Judge as Lowe CEO

NEW YORK Lowe Worldwide has hired Tony Wright as president and chief executive officer, replacing current CEO Jerry Judge, Lowe parent Interpublic Group has confirmed.

Wright, 43, worldwide chief strategy officer at WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather, will join IPG’s Lowe after weeks of negotiations [Adweek, Aug. 9].

Judge, 54, Lowe’s chief executive since 2001, continues in his role as president and CEO of The Partnership, the broader IPG division comprising Lowe, Draft and other shops. Judge is expected to leave IPG at the end of the year, when The Partnership’s corporate structure will likely be dissolved, sources said.

“We’re convinced we have found the right leader for Lowe now, which is why we’ve decided to accelerate management transition at the agency. Jerry respects that decision,” said IPG CEO David Bell in a statement.

“I believe Lowe is uniquely positioned to address the paradox clients must increasingly confront—how to get big, highly creative ideas quickly from an agency that is also able to think and execute globally,” Wright said in the statement.

In the same statement, Judge said, “I will be working with David to ensure a smooth transition through the end of 2004.”

Representatives of Ogilvy and WPP could not immediately be reached.

Before joining Ogilvy in 1995, Wright held senior positions at agencies such as Berlin Wright Cameron; Chiat/Day; and McElligott Wright Morrison White.