Y&R Names New Global CMO

By Patrick Coffee 

alex hughesToday Y&R CEO David Sable promoted Alex Hughes to the global CMO position.

Hughes, who has spent nearly 27 years with the larger Y&R/Wunderman organization, most recently served as general manager of its European operations.

In the new gig, he will work directly with Beth Wade, CMO of sister org VML, in integrating the various services offered by the two entities. He will also serve as “liason” to the larger WPP organization on new “integrated” business.


Hughes has been with Y&R since 1994, working his way up through the accounts side of the business to become global client development leader before ascending to the European GM role in 2013.

The reason for his promotion is the departure of Cathy Cohan, who joined the agency in the newly-created global chief growth officer role back in 2012. Cohan worked in accounts at TBWA, JWT, and BBDO Atlanta before moving into an EVP/consultancy role and Roth Associates in 2007.

At the time of her appointment, one of our readers predicted that her tenure would last “approximately 2 years”; he was off by six months.

The release tells us that Cohan will transition away from her role in order to “pursue some of her other passions.” In a statement, Sable writes:

“Alex has spent 27 years at Y&R Advertising and Wunderman…he has worked across our various disciplines, all around our global network, and on accounts large and small — and on top of that, speaks four languages. He knows how to leverage the agency’s resources to deliver the best work and results.

Cathy has been an enormous asset to this agency.  And while we are sad to see her leave, we fully support her desire to follow some of her other interests.”