Peter Stringham Set to Return to Y&R Brands

Departing HSBC CMO in Talks to Become CEO of Company He Left in 2000

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NEW YORK ( -- Peter Stringham, the adman-cum-financial-services executive who on Feb. 12 left his post as chief marketing officer at
HSBC holdings, will soon return to his former company. Mr. Stringham is in talks with WPP Group to become CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Replace Ann Fudge
Mr. Stringham would replace Ann Fudge, the former Kraft Foods marketing executive who left agency network in December.

Mr. Stringham announced his intention to leave HSBC last October. Prior to joining HSBC he ran Young & Rubicam's North American operations. He left in late 2000, after the company was purchased by WPP.

Mr. Stringham knows WPP's agencies, including JWT and MindShare, and the executives who run them -- in April 2004 he appointed many of those shops to handle HSBC's $600 million global marketing account.

No comment
Mr. Stringham could not be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for Y&R declined to comment, and a spokesman for WPP did not return phone calls.

The appointment of Mr. Stringham to run Young & Rubicam Brands would be a departure from the unit's recent past. When Ms. Fudge was hired in 2003, she functioned as CEO of both Y&R, the global ad network, and Young & Rubicam Brands, overseeing Y&R, branding and identity firm Landor, direct-marketing firm Wunderman and public-relations firm Burson Marstellar, among others. Ms. Fudge's predecessor, Mike Dolan, also held both roles after Ed Vick left his job running Y&R. Hamish McLennan was named to run Y&R in mid-2006.

Exodus after WPP purchase
After WPP purchased Young & Rubicam Brands in 2000, a slew of its top executives, including Mr. Stringham, departed. Y&R lost numerous key accounts and has had difficulty finding its footing in recent years, particularly in North America. Mr. Stringham, a seasoned agency executive with significant knowledge of Young & Rubicam Brands, Y&R and the advertising industry, has the potential to reinvigorate the company.
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