Y&R Names New Chief Strategy Officer of North America

Yusuf Chuku replaces Dick de Lange who was hired away by Huge in February

Yusuf Chuku (right) standing next to Y&R CCO Leslie Sims
Headshot of Lindsay Rittenhouse

WPP’s global agency Y&R announced today the appointment of Yusuf Chuku as chief strategy officer of North America.

Chuku most recently served as a freelance strategist and consultant and previously held a number of top roles including executive vice president and head of planning at McCann New York, chief strategy officer at Cheil New York, head of strategic services at McKinney New York and global planning director at J. Walter Thompson New York.

“Coming to Y&R to lead strategy in North America was a compelling proposition,” Chuku said in a statement. “Y&R has always sat at the intersection of intelligence and creativity. Today that position, combined with a collaborative spirit, allows them to create work that transcends traditional marketing swim lanes. I’m truly excited to be a part of that.”

Chuku replaces Dick de Lange who resigned from his position at Y&R at the end of January. The next month de Lange joined global experience Huge as managing director and global head of planning.

Serving as North America chief creative officer Leslie Sims’ “strategic partner,” according to Y&R, Chuku is tasked with advancing proprietary research programs like eXploring and overseeing strategy for the agency’s North America client roster which includes ANA, Bel Brands USA, Dell, Pepperidge Farm and Xerox. He will also lead the Census and U.S. Navy accounts.

“Yusuf is brilliant,” Sims added in a statement. “His strategic firepower will continue to amplify our creative and his leadership will be instrumental in shaping the agency to meet clients’ changing challenges and priorities. It’s great to be welcoming him to our leadership team at a time of real momentum for the agency.”

During his time in the industry, Chuku has worked across offices in the U.K. and U.S. and for global and regional clients such as PepsiCo, Verizon, Samsung, Microsoft and Kimberly-Clark. His appointment comes on the heels of Y&R winning global creative and media duties for Office Depot.

@kitten_mouse lindsay.rittenhouse@adweek.com Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.