Young & Rubicam Gets a New Creative Chief in New York

Agencies see leadership churn in the new year

Agency leadership is churning this month, and Young & Rubicam is no exception. Today it named McCann Erickson's Leslie Sims to succeed Jim Elliott as chief creative officer in New York.

Elliott had led the creative department since June 2011. Before that, he was a group creative director at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco. He's leaving Y&R to become global CCO at Arnold.

Sims has spent 17 years at McCann in New York, lastly as an ecd working on the U.S. Postal Service and General Mills brands like Nature Valley. McCann employs a half-dozen ecd's in New York, where Sims worked her way up from copywriter, creative director and group creative director. The co-creative chiefs there are Sean Bryan and Tom Murphy.

Y&R represents Sims' first chance to run a department. The WPP Group shop has nearly 150 creative staffers in New York, where the top accounts include Xerox, Dell and Campbell's.

Office president Jim Radosevic sought a new creative leader because he has ambitious goals for the agency. "It was, how do we put the pieces together to make Y&R New York as successful as it can be and, frankly, as it should be?" said Radosevic. "There was nothing broken but (the agency) had all this potential that we just hadn't really captured yet. We really hadn't realized the potential of this place." 

Radosevic is new to his role as well, having advanced internally from global creative director in May. Rounding out the leadership team is chief strategy officer Dick de Lange, who joined (from R/GA) in September. Sims is expected to start late next month.