|Ann Fudge will step down has head of the Y&R Network.
Currently in the second year of a three-year contract that ends in May 2006, Mrs. Fudge will continue as chairman-CEO, according to the statement.
Mrs. Fudge was unavailable for comment. A spokeswoman said she was traveling and couldn't be reached.
No prior agency-side experience
A longtime marketing executive at Kraft Foods and General Mills, Ms. Fudge did not have agency-side experience before joining the WPP Group agency.
During her tenure, Y&R lost multiple major accounts, including Burger King, Sony Electronics, Ford Motor Co.'s Jaguar and Computer Associates International; at the same time it has failed to reel in replacement business of equal proportion.
Y&R, New York, once the largest of the network's North American offices, has shrunk considerably. In January, the Madison Avenue office laid off 10% of its 350-person staff, or about 45 people, as a result of account departures.