Y&R Chicago’s Reath Takes on Broader Role

NEW YORK Young & Rubicam Chicago group account director Jim Reath has taken on the secondary role of chief marketing officer, the WPP Group agency said.

Reath joined the agency in April 2008, after six years at Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett in Chicago. As group account director, he leads management of the office’s largest account: Sears.

“As the lead on this significant business, he is intimate with our full range of capabilities,” said Kary McIlwain, the office’s president and CEO, in a statement. “All this makes him an ideal person to help us capitalize on our great growth.”

In the past nine months, the shop has added Hotels.com ($40 million in major media spending last year, according to The Nielsen Co.), Giant Eagle ($15 million), Bonefish Grill ($1 million) and Hilton Hotels’ Doubletree ($15 million), which it shares with Y&R’s Irvine, Calif., office.

On the flip side, MillerCoors this month reassigned the last of its business at Y&R Chicago — Miller Genuine Draft and MGD 64 (total 2008 spend: $19 million) — to Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi in New York.

Reath, 37, will continue to lead the Sears account as he assumes his new role. His previous client experience includes Kellogg’s, Kraft, Morgan Stanley, Visa, Amtrak and Panasonic.

Earlier in his career, he worked at DDB and Ammirati Puris Lintas, both in Canada.

Y&R Chicago last CMO was Doug Ryan, who exited in 2006 to become a global client service director at Energy BBDO in Chicago. The position has been vacant since then.