Mr. McGhie, 45, said he had decided several months ago to leave the agency business to return to the client side. He said he hopes to land a job in technology marketing.
"My departure has nothing to do with the current economy, WPP or Y&R," he said.
The agency is
Y&R's San Francisco office has about 80 employees and billings of about $150 million, Mr. McGhie said. The shop had suffered the loss of Clorox food products and a number of technology clients but most recently boosted its business with the win of the global Verisign account, which is anticipated to draw billings of as much as $100 million.
The shop recently parted with Adobe Systems, currently in review for an account reported to be between $30 million and $35 million. Finalists are Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, Los Angeles. Select Resources International, West Hollywood, is the consultant.
Mr. McGhie is the second head of a San Francisco agency to leave this month. Kieran Hannon, president-chief operating officer, left Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, San Francisco, for family reasons. He was replaced as president by Casey Jones, previously head of Grey's Oracle account.