Global CEO of Y&R
David is one of the most sought-after advisors; consultants; speakers and mentors in the global marketing community.
David is also a prolific writer and published children’s author…”What Would You Wish For”; a designated LinkedIn Influencer, where he ranks among the most widely read business leaders in the world and a Social Activist working for an end to gun violence; hunger, Bi-Partisan Legislative initiatives; an end to Bullying and in-equality.
As Global CEO and Chairman of Y&R, David propelled Y&R to a top five global creative firm at Cannes, developed new resources and critical practices… Healthcare; BtoB and an in-house innovation accelerator called The Spark Plug….. expanded the global footprint of VML, and ultimately helped unify Y&R and VML into one marketing powerhouse: VMLY&R. All while evangelizing the spirit and competitive advantage of innovation and collaboration.
David’s involvement in the advertising industry has spanned more than 40 years, clients ranging from Fortune Ten to day old start-ups, beginning at Y&R as a trainee in 1976. After his initial stint at Y&R, David worked at Wells Rich Greene before relocating to Israel, where he co-founded an agency, Mimsar, that focused on the then-nascent hi-tech industry, which was the foundation of “The Startup Nation” serving legendary companies like SCITEX, ELBIT and Israel’s Military and Aviation Industries. David also served in the IDF as a Combat Medic.
Upon returning to the U.S., David joined the Y&R network once again, mentored by the late Harold Burson at Burson-Marsteller, and Cohn & Wolfe, where he led major accounts in Business to Business, Financial as well as Consumer. In 1990, he returned to Y&R to lead the global portion of the agency’s international Colgate-Palmolive account driving the first ever coordinated global launch of a consumer product… toothpaste. There, he helped pioneer Y&R’s cross-agency team approach on the USPS account, transforming it into an award-winning industry benchmark.
In 1996, David became a founding partner of one of the first digitally-focused omni-channel startups, Genesis Direct. In 2000, he took that experience to Wunderman…mentored by the late Lester Wunderman, ultimately serving as its Vice Chairman, helping them transition into WPP as a digital/data powerhouse, before returning to Y&R as Global CEO. Amongst the accounts he led and drove were Microsoft; Dell ; IBM; Altice; Citi-Bank; AT&T: Kraft and Pfizer to name just a few.
David is active in the industry as former Chairman of the Advertising Council’s Board of Directors and, for many years before, a Director-at-Large of the 4As. He has served as Jury President at Cannes three times and was a member of the Titanium jury and has won numerous awards including a Gold Marcom Award for his Video Book “Close Your Eyes” with music written by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary. He serves as a keynote speaker at major global events, motivational speaker and advises industry leaders worldwide.
In 2013, Fast Company named David one of the 10 Most Generous Marketing Geniuses. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of both UNICEF/USA and the International Special Olympics, as well as the Executive Board of UNCF. David is also a Board Member of American Eagle Outfitters’ one of the most successful retail clothing brands on line and off and was Executive Producer on MTV’s highly acclaimed REBEL MUSIC series. David serves as an advisor to many start-ups and fast-growing companies including Cinch Markets; Fiverr; 888 and Rox Financial.
David and his wife, Debbie, have two daughters, two sons-in-law, five treasured grandchildren — Henry, Teddy, Gemma, Goldy and Sadie.