Less than six months after taking the reins at Y&R, new Global CEO David Sable is making leadership changes.
Last April former SapientNitro executive Jane Barratt was made president of Y&R's "vitally important" New York office, but today the agency has announced her departure, noting that its top North American executive, Tom Sebok, will take over as president-CEO of Y&R New York, effective immediately.
Ms. Barratt, who in addition to SapientNitro and Y&R has clocked time in Asia at Havas' EuroRSCG, will "pursue other opportunities." She did not respond to a call, but agency executives say her departure was a decision from up top.
To say it has been a period of turmoil at WPP-owned Y&R's domestic operations would be an understatement. There has been a churn of clients as well as management turnover. Mr. Sable was brought in this February after the sudden departure of Hamish McLellan; he became the fourth global CEO of the network in less than a decade. There have been many leadership changes at the New York office, too. When Ms. Barratt was hired, she was meant to work with the creative leadership team of Scott Vitrone and Ian Reichenthal, who have since left for the New York office of Wieden & Kennedy. In April, Y&R named Jim Elliott, formerly of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, as its new chief creative officer.
In a statement, Mr. Sable noted the strength of new hires and said that the "tough news is behind us. We need to invest in this moment with the most experienced leadership and support." Mr. Sable is expected to temporarily assume some of Mr. Sebok's North American duties as he takes over responsibility for running the New York office.
"By any measure, Y&R, New York, is vitally important to us -- as a local agency, as the headquarters of many of our global accounts and as our largest North American agency," Mr. Sebok said in a statement. "I am close to the clients, have worked closely with New York's senior team and am truly looking forward to rolling up my sleeves with Jim Elliott to drive exciting new work for our clients."