Y&R SAN FRANCISCO PRESIDENT-CEO STEPS DOWN

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Austin McGhie, president-CEO of WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, San Francisco, is leaving the agency after five years.

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

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looking from outside its San Francisco office to fill his post.

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.

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