LOS ANGELES David Murphy has been named president of Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi in Torrance, Calif., the agency said today.
He succeeds Rich Anderman, who stepped down as president of the 300-person Saatchi office a month ago. Saatchi's dominant client in Torrance is Toyota Motor Sales USA, which last year spent $735 million on U.S. paid media, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.
Murphy, 45, who has considerable automotive marketing experience, recently parted with WPP Group's Young & Rubicam Brands, where he had been North American managing partner, overseeing Y&R and Wunderman in Irvine, Calif. [Adweek Online, Nov. 7]. He has held senior posts at Y&R for the past seven years.
Despite recent wins, such as Hilton Hotels, Y&R had suffered two significant account losses in the last year: Jaguar and Sony Electronics, worth more than $200 million in combined billings.
In a statement, Saatchi worldwide CEO Kevin Roberts praised Murphy's "vision and capabilities to innovate with new media, e-commerce, television, events and database marketing to make long-lasting connections in the market."
Murphy in the same statement said his goal is to help foster an agency culture "of restless curiosity, true innovation and total collaboration."
His car experience at Y&R in Irvine also includes overseeing the shop during its tenure on Lincoln Mercury, as well as Premier Auto Group's Land Rover account. The latter remains a client; Lincoln departed three years ago.
Anderman's exit from Saatchi came a few weeks after the departure of chief creative officer Steve Rabosky.