Y&R Names John Fraser Chicago Office President

Shift Comes Two Months After Creative Leadership Change at Windy City Shop

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John Fraser
John Fraser
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WPP's Y&R Chicago is tapping John Fraser as its new president.

Kary Mcilwain, the shop's current president, is moving to a non-executive chairman role through 2015 to help with a transition. Ms. McIlwain is a 26-year Y&R veteran who has worked in Y&R's New York and Chicago offices.

Mr. Fraser comes to Y&R from McGarryBowen's Chicago office, where he was chief operating officer. Other agencies he's worked at include the Element 79, which was folded into DDB after his departure, and FCB, where he worked on the account side on brands like Sara Lee and Gatorade.

"John is an inspiring leader with deep knowledge of the Chicago market and a proven track record of growth for both agencies and marketers. His entrepreneurial approach is perfectly suited to our culture and client base," said Y&R Global CEO David Sable in a statement.

"Y&R is an iconic brand, they have great clients, and they have deep resources," said Mr. Fraser. "All that is wonderful, but right now there's an opportunity to build something special, and I'm kind of a builder." He said his first priority is to ensure that the shop has the right resources to win new business with existing clients before aggressively going after new clients.

The move follows the departure of Y&R Chicago's Chief Creative Officer Bill Cimino, who left the shop in January. The agency did not name a new chief creative, and instead promoted Pam Mufson and Jeremy Smallwood to co-executive creative directors. Other chief creative changes in the agency this year include Ronny Northrop being named top creative at Y&R California and Leslie Sims taking the top creative role in New York.

Account wins for Y&R Chicago in the last few years include Bel Brands, Carfax and Double Tree, which helped offset losses like Hampton hotels, Hotels.com and the Craftsman, Die Hard and Kenmore brands, which are part of Sears Holdings.

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