After five year stint in New York, Y&R worldwide chief Hamish McLennan set to return to Australia

Thumbnail image for Screen shot 2010-06-22 at 6.41.20 PM.pngAussie expat Hamish McLennan, the worldwide CEO of Young & Rubicam since June 2006, based in New York, is to return to Australia at the end of the year for family reasons.

McLennan - pictured by CB at Cannes last year - will be replaced by David Sable, vice chairman and CEO of Y&R sister shop Wunderman, but remain chairman of Y&R until the end of 2011 when Sable will also take on this additional role. Sable remains head of Team Microsoft which co-ordinates the Microsoft account across WPP.

Before taking up the global role, McLennan served as chairman/CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands Australia/New Zealand, managing over a dozen companies in the region. McLennan told Campaign Brief from New York that he will remain with the WPP network on his return: "I am chatting with [WPP boss] Sir Martin Sorrell about a range of exciting possibilities."
Commenting on his decision to return to Australia, McLennan said: "This hasn't been an easy decision for me and my family to make but in the end it became so. I'm very pleased that I shall be continuing to contribute to Y&R worldwide - a company I've spent nine years with - and I can think of no more qualified candidate to take over as CEO than David, a close friend and colleague for whom I have the highest regard, both personally and professionally."

Hamish&Tony.gif Peter Stringham, CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands said: "We are very indebted to Hamish for all he has done to set the agency on a strong course of growth, with a record performance in 2008 and its second-best performance ever in 2010. On his watch, Y&R won such clients as Goldman Sachs and LG, added global Danone Waters  and consolidated others like Bacardi and Virgin Atlantic.

"And the agency's creative performance improved dramatically -- at Cannes, Y&R New York was named #1 agency in the US and # 2 worldwide, and the global network #3. We are also grateful that he has agreed to stay on as Chairman until the end of the year, to ease the transition."

McLennan can take some credit for the creative success of the network, personally luring Y&R worldwide creative director Tony Granger (near left) from Saatchi & Saatchi in 2007.

"David Sable is perfectly equipped to lead Y&R, having spent two thirds of his career at Young & Rubicam Brands companies. Most importantly, his experience across our group has helped him understand more than anyone how to deliver integrated solutions across advertising, public relations, direct and relationship marketing and, critically, how the evolution of digital channels affects all of those.  He is the ideal leader to take Y&R to the next level."


Anonymous said:

Generally when you see the words 'family reasons' and 'exciting possibilities' in the same press release, someone's been fucked.

Then again, it's WPP. There's more fucking in there than a brothel.

Anonymous said:

10.16 you have no clue.

Anonymous said:

10:16. My thoughts exactly.

Anonymous said:


Oddly enough I do.

Here's Y&R's exciting last few months.

MetLife's U.S. advertising account went to MDC Partners recently.

7Up went to McGarryBowen without a pitch. (Y&R had it for 40 years.)

In January they lost Hilton Hotels.

There's more than enough there for Sorrell to pull out and polish that bloody axe he's been wielding for years.

Anonymous said:

hamish and rus in the same continent?

Anonymous said:

Y&R's 2010 margins, revenue growth and profit beat all the other WPP shops. #3 creative network at cannes .....from nowhere.
Don't think Martin is swinging that axe at H's head.

Anonymous said:

I'm not sure why but Sir Martin has always adored Hamish - and I don't see anything changing on that front.

Anonymous said:

10.16 no clue

Anonymous said:

you judge a man by his friends.....

Anonymous said:

Hamish the Hammer comes Home.

Sounds like a chapter heading in an Enid Blyton book.

Not a children's story.

Anonymous said:


Sir Martin's just a big old softy. He always puts personal relationships in front of monetary gain.

Sir Martin adores a lot of things.

Unfortunately they're about four inches long and made of paper with big numbers on.

Been there, done that said:

While I'm as keen on conspiracy theories as anyone and have been on the receiving end of the assassin's blade many times, it's just possible that after 5 years overseas, Hamish is really pining for the things that make Australia - and Sydney - so great, like a laconic sense of humour, informality and beach lifestyle - all of which are sadly absent in New York.

Someone in NYC said:

FYI Hamish's dad a a triple by pass late last year, & was there in OZ for sometime last year looking after his father.

So for all yo tall poppy bastards, Hamish is a family first, & not business, & to those who r close to him know this.

So give the guy a brake, it has nothing to do with $$ or politics.

Anonymous said:

I'm honestly frightened. And I don't work there.

Anonymous said:

@Someone in NYC: he might be better served with a 'break' instead.

Anonymous said:

"Give the guy a brake" hahaha

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