Former Chairman & CEO, Young & Rubicam Inc.

After joining Young & Rubicam in 1963, Peter Georgescu rose through the ranks to become the company¿s eighth CEO in 1994. Under his leadership, the company grew to become one of the world¿s largest commercial communications companies, with more than 339 offices in 73 countries. In 1999 the agency had worldwide revenue of nearly $2 billion.

During his tenure, Y& R successfully transformed from a private to a publicly held company. Within the marketing community, he is known as a leading proponent of unified communications programs, agency accountability for measuring the impact of communications programs, and value-based agency compensation. Georgescu had the vision and foresight to "go global," one of the first in the industry to recognize the need for integrated marketing. He was one of the initiators of brand establishment, taking a holistic approach to the client¿s needs.

Georgescu also elevated the role of research in the field of commercial communications. Under his leadership, Y&R invested $50 million in the most comprehensive global database of consumer perceptions about brands, Brand Asset Valuator (BAV). BAV is based on in-depth conversations with over 100,000 consumers in 35 countries concerning 13,000 brands. It has given Y&R a unique understanding of the dynamics of brands, much of which turns conventional wisdom about marketing and brands on its head. BAV has also changed the way clients — and other agencies — think about brands. It is consistently cited by clients as one of Y&R¿s strongest resources and has been featured in branding stories in Forbes and USA TODAY.

Georgescu met success against tremendous odds: In 1954 he escaped from the intolerant and dangerous Romania and suffered a traumatic separation from his parents. His professional accomplishments are many, but his charitable contributions attest to his character and good will. He has devoted his time and energy to A Better Chance, a national organization dedicated to identifying, recruiting and developing leaders among young people of color throughout the U.S. He helped them find a national spokesperson, persuading none other than Oprah Winfrey to fill that role. A Better Chance President Judith Berry Griffin said of Georgescu, "Having achieved so much in his professional and personal life, Peter did not have to look back ... But he made a different choice. And because he did so, thousands of lives have been and will be changed forever. "

Recognizing the importance of balance in life, Georgescu helped implement the School Leave Policy, which allows employees time off to volunteer at schools throughout the community and for emergency childcare and elder care.

He has also supported Y&R¿s efforts with the United Negro College Fund, United Cerebral Palsy, American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and AIDS Walk New York. A strong believer in the arts and their benefit to society, Georgescu also serves on the board of the New York Philharmonic. He also instituted a program entitled Y&Arts, which entitles Y&R employees to free admission to many of the city¿s top cultural institutions. He also serves as a vice chairman of New York Presbyterian Hospital.