Carter Murray Named CEO of Y&R, New York; Tom Sebok Departs

Shift Marks Latest Executive Changes in Quest for Agency Turnaround

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Carter Murray
Carter Murray

A year into his tenure as global CEO of WPP's Y&R , David Sable is continuing to make aggressive changes to the creative agency network. In his latest move, Mr. Sable has granted Y&R 's new North American chief, Carter Murray, the additional role of CEO of Y&R New York. That means the office's current CEO, Tom Sebok, will be leaving the agency effective immediately.

Also as part of the management restructuring, Mr. Sable has brought in his former colleague from WPP's Wunderman, Sean Howard, to serve as general manager of the New York office. Mr. Howard moves over from Wunderman's Seattle, where he had been serving as global client-services director. In the hopes of luring more top creatives, the agency has also added a chief talent officer: Gloria Prestifilippo, who joined Y&R in 2011 as VP-director of human resources from Juicy Couture, was promoted to the new post.

Since arriving at Y&R last February, Mr. Sable has enlisted a crew of seasoned executives in his quest to turn the agency around. Among the top hires in the past year: Jim Elliott from Omnicom Group's Goodby Silverstein & Partners as chief creative officer of New York; Levi's former VP-global marketing, Doug Sweeny, now president of Y&R 's West Coast operations; and Mr. Murray, a rising star at Publicis Worldwide who ran the network's global Nestle business from Paris.

You could say the writing was on the wall with regards to Mr. Sebok's role. In September, when Mr. Murray's recruitment from Publicis to Y&R was announced, Mr. Sebok was shifted to the post of president-CEO of Y&R , New York. In a statement, the agency said he'll be leaving to pursue other opportunities.

"The idea is to remove some layers and create a stronger more empowered agency," Mr. Carter told Ad Age . "It's going to put us in a much, much better place."

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