A year after being named president & CEO of Y&R North America, Carter Murray is shuffling the ranks at the WPP agency's West Coast offices. Y&R California has appointed Mimi Cook, a brand strategy director at Mekanism who also spent four years as a creative director at Apple, as chief creative officer. It also promoted Mike Reese, managing partner at Y&R, New York, to president. The duo will lead the network's operations in both Irvine and San Francisco.
Mr. Reese replaces Doug Sweeny, who left Levi's in 2011 to lead Y&R West, along with chief creative officer Joe Kayser. Both are leaving to "pursue other opportunities," according to a statement.
"I've had an eye on this office my entire career, and I've admired it," said Mr. Reese. "The market itself and the confluence of technology and media creates unbelievable possibilities." He added that working with Ms. Cook, and her varied background on both the agency and client side of the business, also excited him.
Ms. Cook spent seven years at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners before moving to Apple, where she worked on the launch of the iPhone.
Mr. Murray said that the network has seen strong growth and momentum in New York City and Chicago and hopes to replicate those successes in California. He said that Mr. Reese's knowledge of the Y&R network and talent capabilities coupled nicely with Ms. Cook's background to make a "strong combination." He also added that promoting from within sends a positive message to the entire company. "To attract talent we have to make our existing talent believe they can rise to the top," he said.
Mr. Reese, a longtime Y&R veteran who has held senior roles in account management, business development and strategic planning, spent the last seven years as president at BrandBuzz, Y&R's business unit that specialized in media-neutral creative solutions and was folded into the main agency in 2012.
Clients at Y&R West include Chevron, Blue Diamond Citrix and Crystal Cruises.