Y&R Group names Phil McDonald new group CEO of ANZ as Jason Buckley departs

New Y&R ANZ CEO Phil McDonald

New Y&R ANZ CEO Phil McDonald

Phil McDonald has been named as new CEO of Y&R Group Australia and New Zealand to replace Jason Buckley, who is leaving after four years.

It is the first big move in the WPP’s operations since the merger with STW was announced last year, and sees the head of Y&R Group Brisbane take the top national job.

McDonald has been with Y&R for nearly a decade and has been a driving force behind its new business plan in the region, helping to add a number of clients, including McDonald’s and Microsoft.

Announcing the appointment, global CEO David Sable said that McDonald was the perfect candidate to take the business forward.

“Since Phil joined us nearly 10 years ago he’s been instrumental in leading and influencing many of our key new business and creative successes in the region,” said Sable.

“I have great confidence in Phil, with his extensive knowledge of our business and our people, to lead Y&R Group’s management team across the ANZ region.”

Buckley leaves Y&R after four years

Buckley leaves Y&R after four years

Buckley experienced a meteoric rise at Y&R after joining as chief financial officer in 2011, being made chief operating officer in 2012 as Russel Howcroft moved to Network Ten, and taking the top job in 2014.

“I have enjoyed my four years at Y&R and I was really motivated by all the talent we had,” Buckley told Mumbrella.

“Now I’m just happy to watch it shine from afar.”

Buckley said his decision to move on was partly a lifestyle choice.

McDonald said to new role would give him the chance to influence the direction of Y&R in Australia and New Zealand.

“I look forward to working with all the leaders of Y&R, GPY&R, VML, IdeaWorks and Blaze in the ANZ region,” said McDonald.

“I am especially looking forward to my partnership with our regional CCO Ben Coulson, who has been the heart and soul of our creative renaissance.”

In 2015 Y&R Group ANZ’s work was recognised with 13 Cannes Lions and four EFFIEs.

Simon Canning


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.