Y&R Seeks to Boost Chicago Growth With Breen

CHICAGO – Howard Breen, incoming president of Young & Rubicam here, prides himself on knowing the first name of everyone in his office.
Since he will continue to oversee operations at Y&R Canada, Breen will soon know the names of a battery of flight attendants on the route to and from Toronto.
Breen last week was named to replace Pat Cafferata upon her retirement at summer’s end.
Day-to-day operations in Toronto will be managed by Darcia Joseph, who was promoted to president there and is expected to eventually take over fully.
Moving Breen into Chicago’s top spot is meant to signal a challenge to rivals more than a change of direction, said North American chief executive Peter Stringham.
“What we need are more significant accounts that will grow us in that market,” he said. “[Breen must] do more of the good stuff Pat has done and just turn it up a notch.”
Breen came to Y&R Canada from BBDO in 1996. The office’s revenues have since doubled, making Y&R the country’s third-largest agency network.
Breen said he knows the benefit of providing clients with diverse solutions. “I’m going to go down [to Chicago] and do my best to help ensure that clients win,” he said.
Kraft, Sears, Jim Beam and Barilla were among the clients added during Cafferata’s tenure.
Breen spent the earlier half of his career in marketing and brand management at companies including Johnson & Johnson and PepsiCo Canada.