The top management shuffle at Young & Rubicam, New York, appears to continue the agency holding company's focus on large integrated-marketing clients.
Y&R unveiled the new lineup last week, with Thomas Bell taking over as worldwide chairman-CEO of Y&R Advertising, succeeding Ed Vick, who remains chief operating officer of the parent company and chairman-CEO of the Y&R/WCJ Partnership.
Mr. Bell had been president-CEO of Young & Rubicam's Diversified Communications Group and Burson-Marsteller, its public relations arm.
KURZ TO LEAVE
At the same time, Y&R Advertising said Vice Chairman-Chief Client Officer Mitch Kurz is leaving the agency at the end of the year to "pursue interests in the not-for-profit or entrepreneurial areas."
Linda Srere, president of Y&R Advertising's New York office, will succeed him, and Y&R North America Chairman-CEO Peter Stringham will assume Ms. Srere's duties running the New York office.
Mr. Stringham may decide later to bring in a new head of Y&R, New York, but it will be "his call," said Mr. Bell.
By appointing Mr. Bell, with his PR and communications experience, Y&R continues the push led by CEO Peter Georgescu to integrate all disciplines, observers said.
Burson-Marsteller Chairman Graham Phillips will add the title of chairman-CEO at the Diversified Communications Group.
The elevation of Ms. Srere, known for her care and feeding of large multidiscipline clients, reflects that view as well, they said.
The reshuffling "is not designed to change the way we do business, it's designed to put some big players in places where they can affect clients," Mr. Vick said.
YOUNGER EXECS RISING
These changes are moving up a number of younger top executives, such as the 43-year-old Ms. Srere, to beef up the ranks in anticipation of Mr. Georgescu's eventual retirement and more-imminent departures of Y&R veterans made rich by its public stock offering in May.
"It's all part of Peter's succession plan, no doubt about it," said Abe Jones, managing director of investment banker AdMedia Partners. "I think you're going to see a whole generational shift there."
Copyright September 1998, Crain Communications Inc.