Will Be Replaced by Former Top Kraft Executive Ann Fudge

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Michael Dolan, chairman-CEO of WPP Group's Young & Rubicam and Y&R Advertising, resigned today, according to an agency spokeswoman. He will
Ann Fudge, the new chairman-CEO of Y&R Advertising.
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be replaced by Ann Fudge, formerly president of Kraft Foods' beverages, desserts and Post division.

At Kraft, Ms. Fudge worked with numerous agencies, including WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. She left that job in February 2001; this is her first chairman and chief executive post. Prior to Kraft, Ms. Fudge spent nine years at General Mills, where she started as a marketing assistant and rose to the marketing director level.

In an e-mail to Young & Rubicam staff sent this morning, Mr. Dolan outlined the company's accomplishments since 1996, when he joined as vice chairman and chief financial officer. He became chairman-CEO of Young & Rubicam in 2001 and later that year assumed responsibility for Y&R Advertising.

Dolan looks back
"I've been with Y&R for seven eventful years," Mr. Dolan wrote. "In that time, we have accomplished a great deal." The company's achievements he noted included Young & Rubicam's initial public offering, its merger with WPP Group and the creation of the Y&R/ Wunderman alliance.

He cited the company's recent account wins of ChevronTexaco (with $95 million in billings) and Burger King Corp. ($340 million) as examples of "Y&R's integrated approach."

Mr. Dolan added, "The decision to step down is not only right for me, it is a good time for a change at Y&R."

The agency's leadership change is effective immediately, although Mr. Dolan is working with Ms. Fudge until the transition with clients and employees is complete.

"Mike's done a great job of getting the new-business wins ... now is a great time for me to come in," Ms. Fudge said in an interview with AdAge.com today, her first day on the job. Speaking of her broad client-side experience, Ms. Fudge said, "I'll be looking at [the agency business] with a different lens."

A 'good people person'
Ms. Fudge's background in packaged goods, as well as her knowledge and understanding of how clients think and approach marketing problems, appealed to WPP's management as they considered potential successors to Mr. Dolan, executives familiar the search said. Another factor, one executive said, is that "Ms. Fudge is a very good people person."

For the short term, Ms. Fudge said her plan is "to listen, to clients and to people here at Y&R. That's when you get the jewels, the opportunities to understand where [the agency] can grow and build." Ms. Fudge declined to be more specific as to her future plans.

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