Ogilvy Global CEO Miles Young to Step Down

By Patrick Coffee 

Multiple sources told us that WPP Group would officially announce executive changes at Ogilvy & Mather this afternoon, though no one within the Ogilvy or WPP organizations commented to us directly.

The news concerns Ogilvy Global CEO Miles Young, who joined O&M way back in 1982 and succeeded Shelly Lazarus as global chief executive in 2008 (she is currently chairman). As we hear it, the word will be that he is “stepping aside.”

It would appear, based on an announcement from New College at Oxford University, that Young will move to England to be Warden of Fellows of New College and leave the advertising industry entirely.


In March 2013, Adweek’s Noreen O’Leary profiled Young as a man “busy reinventing a troubled agency.” He was first approached for the chief executive role by Martin Sorrell in 2007, when he ran Ogilvy’s Asia-Pacific operations.

No word at the moment on who will replace Young and/or whether his departure will be accompanied by other staffing changes.

After this post went live, Ogilvy released a statement confirming that Young will indeed retire at the end of the summer and that the search for his successor has begun.

His quote:

“This was a difficult decision, but the attraction of moving to a senior academic position in the UK was very great. Ogilvy & Mather and WPP have been part of my life for 32 years, and the intention is not to part company, but to be available to advise and consult, which I look forward to doing. My succession will be announced in due course. In the meantime it is business as usual.”