The most prominent African-American female in advertising, Ann Fudge, is stepping down from her post as CEO of Y&R Brands. Ad Age has more:
A graduate of Harvard Business School who built a career in marketing at General Foods and then Kraft, Ms. Fudge brought a history of client-side experience to her job heading one of the world’s largest global marketing communications companies.
While her appointment was groundbreaking, her performance at the company’s helm was largely regarded as underwhelming. She was widely criticized for focusing initially on the internal operations of Y&R, the advertising agency and most well-known unit of Young & Rubicam Brands, rather than diving into client relationships and luring new business.
I’m sure there will be quite a lot of chatter about Fudge’s time at Y&R, but I get the impression that it’s extremely difficult for anyone from a client-side background to come into an entrenched ad agency culture and make his/her own mark, regardless of race or gender.
What does it take to make that transition a successful one?