Y&R Names Murphy COO in S.F.

Penny Baldwin has made the first of what she promises will be several strategic moves at Young & Rubicam, promoting Kathy Murphy from general manager to COO, a new position.

Baldwin was named president and CEO of Y&R’s San Fran cisco office last November. She previously headed up Arnold’s outpost here. Baldwin said one of Murphy’s major roles as COO will be to cultivate partnerships and alliances with other local WPP Group companies.

“We have some great assets available to us that need to be harnessed,” Baldwin said, referring to the approximately 15 WPP companies in the Bay Area.

Murphy, who joined Y&R San Francisco in 1990, will also work closely with the shop’s finance, human resources, technology, real estate and acquisition divisions. She noted that her background at the shop will blend nicely with Baldwin’s fresh perspective.

Since Baldwin joined last fall, there have been several developments at the shop. Most recently, it picked up ChevronTexaco’s $20 million Havoline motor oil account. The first commercial for that client will air this month during the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. ChevronTexaco is a title sponsor of the Games.

Y&R also created a spot for the retail division of Chevron, a client since 1987, to run during the Olym pics. The agency said it is still awaiting an update from the recently merged ChevronTexaco regarding the December RFP the company issued in an attempt to consolidate marketing efforts.

In addition, the shop recently created its first campaign for Web security company VeriSign, a $70 million client picked up in August. The work is expected to break soon, though Baldwin declined to give a date.

Y&R is also a finalist in the high-profile Advanced Micro Devices review. The other shops still competing for the $25-30 million business are Leo Burnett’s LB Works in Chicago and McCann-Erickson in San Francisco. Final presentations will be given the last week of February, and a decision is expected by March 1.

“My goal was to create some serious headway in my first 100 days on the job,” said Baldwin.

“And we’re only at day 45,” Murphy added.