Optimedia U.S. Gets New Head From U.K.

Antony Young Replaces Retiring Mike Drexler

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Optimedia U.S. CEO Mike Drexler will retire this summer after a 40-year career in the industry. He will be replaced by Antony Young, currently CEO of ZenithOptimedia's U.K. group.
Antony Young
Antony Young

The change is the second top-level shift at the U.S. operations of Publicis Groupe-owned ZenithOptimedia in the past year. Earlier this year, Rich Hamilton, CEO of ZenithOptimedia Americas, officially stepped down following a six-month leave of absence. His responsibilities were absorbed by Tim Jones, who announced the current changes.

Mr. Drexler, 67, joined Optimedia in 2002, shortly after it was established. Before the era of unbundled media operations, he worked at agencies including Ogilvy & Mather, Doyle Dane, Bernbach (now DDB) and Foote, Cone & Belding (soon to be DraftFCB Group), working directly with the likes of David Ogilvy and Bill Bernbach. He also launched one of the first unbundled media shops, BJK&E Media, spun out of Bozell.
Mike Drexler
Mike Drexler

Publicis Groupe vet
His replacement, 41-year-old Mr. Young, is a Publicis media vet. Mr. Young began his career with Saatchi & Saatchi's New Zealand office and was promoted to media director in 1990. Mr. Young, a New Zealand native, moved to Saatchi's Hong Kong office in 1995. He then helped launch Zenith in Asia and, in 2001, became CEO of ZenithOptimedia's operations there. He's been in his current post since 2003.

Throughout his career, Mr. Young has worked on brands including Sony, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Procter & Gamble and Toyota.

"Antony brings us great assets," Mr. Jones said in a statement. "He knows our network, our tools and culture, and understands integrated communications."

Mr. Young, who takes the title of president of Optimedia U.S., will relocate from London to New York this summer. He will be replaced by his deputy, Gerry Boyle, now managing director of ZenithOptimedia U.K.
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