Y&R Names Irvine Chief

LOS ANGELES Young & Rubicam Brands today named Rick Eiserman to head its Irvine, Calif., office as North American managing partner, the agency confirmed.

Eiserman, 33, succeeds David Murphy, who left the agency last November. Former general manager Michael Reese assumes the role of president of the WPP Group agency’s integrated marketing division BrandBuzz in New York, where Eiserman had been CEO. (He co-founded the shop in 2000.)

Eiserman said he would initially concentrate on existing accounts in Irvine, which include Mattel, Land Rover and Range Rover, Callaway and Hilton Hotels, before moving to build the agency’s client roster.

Eiserman, a 10-year Y&R veteran, said, “It’s not about changing the agency, but elevating and leveraging great things.”

Gord McLean, CEO of Y&R North America and president of global client services, said that over the last two months he started his search within WPP Group, then interviewed candidates outside the holding company, but “always had one dream guy in mind.”

“I asked the leadership team in Irvine what they were looking for,” said McLean. “Their marching orders were to keep the model, which is the most integrated agency in the network.”

McLean praised Eiserman’s work at BrandBuzz, which he called “a successful group: fast, flexible, tremendously successful in new business. There is little difference between BrandBuzz and the way [Irvine] goes to market, so this is the best possible solution.”

At BrandBuzz, Kara O’Neill rises to general manager from director of integrated marketing. In Irvine, Wunderman managing director Dan Olson has become COO of both Y&R and Wunderman.

Olson said his goal was to make sure the things that work for Wunderman’s clients apply across the roster. “Among the many reasons we are successful is that marketing is evolving into the skills that require direct marketers,” Olson said. “The nature of how we work is measurable, the underpinnings to make a good business case.”