Y&R Exec to Consult

NEW YORK Stephanie Kugelman has left her chief strategy officer post at Young & Rubicam after 36 years at the shop to launch a brand consultancy called A.S.O.—A Second Opinion.

However, Kugelman, is retaining ties to the WPP Group agency by keeping an office there and working for Y&R clients, such as Accenture, though not exclusively.

Kugelman, 59, is contracted to consult to Y&R for at least a year and now becomes vice chairman emeritus.

“I still feel incredibly loyal to Y&R,” said Kugelman. “They’ve helped me and I want to help them.”

Y&R worldwide CEO Hamish McLennan described Kugelman as a “huge part of the DNA of this company” and said the vice chairman emeritus title is meant to convey “respect” for her decades of contributions.

Kugelman, an account planner by training, joined Y&R in 1971 as a researcher, and through the years assumed a series of progressively more senior roles. From May 1999 until June 2001, she ran the New York office as chairman and CEO.

After that, she became worldwide vice chairman and chief strategy officer working on new business pitches and key clients such as Sears. In that role, Kugelman served both Y&R and sibling agencies such as Wunderman, Landor Associates, Cohn & Wolfe and Sudley & Hennessey.

A.S.O. will advise marketers on their brand strategies and internal and external communications. Down the line, Kugelman also envisions consulting to other agencies and non-profit organizations.