Y&R Welcomes David Patton as Global President

By Erik Oster 

David Patton is leaving Grey to become global president at WPP sister agency Y&R, beginning the new position in January and reporting to Y&R global CEO David Sable.

“This marks the second time this year that an outstanding Grey alum has been chosen for a top leadership post at one of WPP’s largest advertising agencies,” Grey global CEO Jim Heekin said in a statement. “Tamara Ingram took the helm of JWT last March. Both appointments are a remarkable compliment to Grey’s ascendancy and success. They underscore the deep bench of talent our network possesses.”

Patton has served as president and CEO of Grey Group EMEA since April of 2010, following two and a half years as group CEO for Grey London. Grey Latin America president and CEO Alain Groenendaal will succeed Patton as president and CEO of Grey Group in EMEA, based out of London. The agency will name Groenendaal’s successor in the coming weeks.

Before joining Grey London in 2007, Patton spent nearly three and a half year as European senior vice president for Sony Electronics, following nine years as vice president, marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. That followed over three and a half years as marketing manager for Nintendo during the SNES’ heyday. Given Patton’s quick rise at WPP, he may be a prime contender as Y&R global CEO Sable’s eventual successor.
Groenendaal joined Grey Group to lead multicultural agency Wing as president and CEO in August of 2008 and was promoted to his current position around five and a half years later. Prior to that he served as general manager and CMO for the community for around three years. Before joining the community he spent almost three years as senior vice president, regional account director for Leo Burnett, following a year as vice president, regional business development for Leo Burnett Latin America.