Y&R Managing Partner Murphy to Depart

LOS ANGELES Managing partner David Murphy is leaving WPP Group’s Y&R in Irvine, Calif., the agency has confirmed.

Murphy told the staff gathered at a meeting today that a management team would take over in the interim period between his departure at the end of November and the naming of his successor, a source said.

Murphy was unavailable for comment.

The source, who attended the meeting, said Murphy described the agency as healthy, citing new business momentum (the shop won Hilton Hotels in its latest pitch), and did not disclose his destination.

The team includes Anthony DiBiase, executive creative director; Dan Olson, managing director of Wunderman; Dean Heacock, chief financial officer; Jennifer Reece, director of Mediaedge:cia; Craig Kleber, director of strategic planning; Linda Denton, svp and director of people services; and Glen Sheehan, svp, cd of Wunderman.

Murphy came to the agency in 1999 from Aetna Healthcare, where he was the vice president and director of marketing communications.

Prior to Aetna, Murphy had been at WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather for sixteen years.

Despite recent wins, the shop has suffered two significant losses in the last year: Jaguar and Sony Electronics.