Y&R Taps An Insider For Global CMO Role

WPP’s Y&R has named Alex Hughes to the post of global chief marketing officer of Y&R Advertising. He effectively replaces Cathy Cohan, who has served as global chief growth officer, and who is stepping down to pursue other interests. 

Hughes, a 27-year veteran of Y&R and sibling agency Wunderman, will be responsible for leading marketing and new business development efforts at the agency. He will also collaborate with VML, part of the Y&R Group, on certain projects. And he will serve as the liaison to WPP for holding company new business pitches. 

Y&R CEO David Sable commented that Hughes “has worked across our various disciplines, all around our global network, and on accounts large and small — and on top of that, speaks four languages. He knows how to leverage the agency’s resources to deliver the best work and results.” 

Hughes started his career in the agency business in 1984, doing advertising for clients like E.F. Hutton and Citibank.  He started with sister company Wunderman in 1988 and has been with Y&R Advertising since 1994. He rose through the ranks to global lead on the Citibank account. 



After Citibank, Hughes spent eight years on Y&R’s Colgate-Palmolive team working closely with the agency and client to develop a fully integrated agency offering for the account.  Most recently, Hughes was the General Manager of Y&R Europe and Global Client Development Leader.  

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