NEW YORK WPP Group today confirmed hiring former HSBC Group marketing chief Peter Stringham as CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands.
The hire, first reported Feb. 14 by Adweek.com, fills a vacancy left by the December exit of Ann Fudge. Stringham, 57, will oversee a group of 18 agencies that includes Y&R, Wunderman, Burson-Marsteller, Landor Associates, Sudler & Hennessey and Cohn & Wolfe.
In a statement, WPP described Stringham as a "distinguished professional" and "outstanding global marketer," citing his experience on both the client and agency sides.
Stringham is tasked with fostering greater collaboration among the agencies when servicing mutual clients or pitching accounts that require a range of marketing disciplines. In recent years, the shops have more often operated on their own, given separate profit and loss responsibilities and distinct management teams.
Unlike his predecessor, Stringham will focus exclusively on the group. Fudge had been CEO of both Y&R and Y&R Brands. In June, Hamish McLennan, CEO of Y&R Brands in Australia and New Zealand, replaced Fudge in the Y&R post, leaving her with the Y&R Brands role until she left on Dec. 31.
Stringham spent six years at HSBC and in 2004 steered a global review of the bank's $600 million marketing services account that resulted in the hiring of nine WPP agencies, chief among them, JWT. In October, HSBC said Stringham would leave the bank by March and last week he vacated his London office, telling colleagues that he had taken another job.
Before HSBC, Stringham spent nearly three years at Y&R as North American CEO. Earlier in his career, he ran BBDO's operations in Canada as president.