Rainey Kelly promotes Exon to CEO after Murphy departure

LONDON - Richard Exon has been promoted to the role of chief executive of Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R following the decision by James Murphy to quit the agency for a start-up.

Exon only joined RKCR/Y&R in the spring as managing director, after being lured from Bartle Bogle Hegarty where he had spent 13 years.

At the same time, Russell Hopson is promoted from deputy managing director to managing director. Tony Harris moves from international business director to deputy chairman.

Murphy is quitting RCKR/Y&R to form a start-up with Ben Priest, creative director, and David Golding, planning director.

It is understood that parent company WPP Group made a concerted effort to keep the trio at the agency, which is enjoying a spate of success with campaigns for Marks & Spencer and Virgin Atlantic.

The trio's new agency is due to launch in January, when their six-month notice periods come to an end.