George Patterson Y+R has acquired Jon Steel as chief strategy officer and vice chairman.

Steel has recently moved to Australia and for the past nine years been the global head of planning for the WPP Group. He has also published two books, Truth, Lies & Advertising and Perfect Pitch.

Steel started his career at Boase Massimi Pollitt in London, followed by what is now known as Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco. Steel helped grow Goodby, Silverstein & Partners from a US $30 million regional agency into a US $1 billion international agency. He has received a David Ogilvy Gold Award for the famous ‘got milk?’ campaign. In addition he has won eleven gold Effie Awards from the American Marketing Association for advertising effectiveness.

In his new capacity, Steel will continue to work on special projects, such as directing the WPP Fellowship (a global graduate recruitment program) and providing counsel to other WPP companies.

“In Nigel [Marsh, CEO of Y&R Brands], Russell [Howcroft, MD of GPYR] and the rest of the management team I see kindred spirits – I respect them professionally, but I also know we’ll have a lot of fun together. And when you’re having fun, it’s much easier to do great work,” said Steel.