Young & Rubicam, three weeks after parting with New York co-executive creative directors Ian Reichenthal and Scott Vitrone, has hired a new chief creative officer for its West Coast offices: Joe Kayser, a former group creative director at Cutwater in San Francisco.
At the same time, John Berg, the president and CEO of West Coast operations in San Francisco and Irvine, Calif., is exiting after two-and-a-half years. Y&R North American CEO Tom Sebok will absorb the CEO duties while the WPP Group agency seeks a successor.
The changes come after several West Coast client losses in the past two years, including Palm, 7Up and Hilton—an Irvine client that was shared with Y&R Chicago—and the erosion of the agency’s Chevron business into the hands of rival shop mcgarrybowen. Y&R needed creative leadership following last year’s exit of San Francisco ecds Brad Berg and Scott Larson.
Beyond Chevron, Y&R’s West Coast clients include Citrix, Mattel, Jenny Craig, Roundtable Pizza and the NCAA.
Berg joined Y&R in October 2008, originally as head of San Francisco, replacing Penny Baldwin. Last year, he added oversight of Irvine, where the Mattel and Jenny Craig accounts are based.
At Cutwater, Kayser, 43, worked on clients such as LensCrafters, Persol, Jeep and Google. Earlier in his career, he held creative posts at TBWA\Chiat\Day; Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos; Publicis & Hal Riney; and Saatchi & Saatchi.
Y&R global CCO Tony Granger described Kayser as “exactly the kind of talent and energy we need to jump-start a creative resurgence on the West Coast.”
Kayser, who starts this week, will report to Granger and Sebok.