About Peter Georgescu

Observations: a web log

About Peter Georgescu

Peter Andrew Georgescu, Chairman Emeritus of Young & Rubicam, was born on the eve of the Second World War in Bucharest, Romania. His Romanian parents were educated in England and France. Peter’s father was the Managing Director of Exxon’s operation in Romania. While on a business trip to New York in 1947, the Iron Curtain fell and Peter’s parents could not return to Romania. Overnight they became the enemy of the Communist regime (his father would have been killed if he’d returned to Romania). Peter and his brother were left in Romania with his grandparents and would remain apart from his mother and father for eight years. His grandfather was seized and imprisoned as a political threat, and then murdered in captivity. Shortly after his grandfather was taken away, Peter, only nine years old, was arrested along with his brother and grandmother and sent to a work camp. In 1953 his father was approached by Romanian Communist diplomats in New York and asked to spy for them in exchange for “good treatment” for the children. Georgescu’s parents refused and went to the press, causing an international scandal. With the intervention of Congressman Frances Bolton and President Eisenhower, the boys were reunited with their parents in April of 1954.

Peter’s American journey started with a gifted admission to Exeter Academy in the fall of 1954—which generously overlooked his inability to speak English and having had no formal schooling since second grade. He attended Princeton and earned an MBA degree from Stanford Business School. In 1963 he entered Young & Rubicam as a trainee in their research department. Thirty-seven years later he retired as Chairman and CEO of Young & Rubicam with Y&R at the pinnacle of the advertising and related communications industry.

Under Mr. Georgescu’s leadership, Young & Rubicam successfully transformed from a private to a publicly-held company. During his tenure, Young & Rubicam built the most extensive database on global branding and, from its findings, developed a proprietary model for diagnosing and managing brands. Within the marketing community, he is known as a leading proponent of creating unified communications programs, agency accountability for measuring the impact of communications programs, and structuring value-based agency compensation.

In recognition for his contributions to the marketing and advertising industry, Peter was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame and received several Honorary Doctorate of Humanity degrees and other recognitions from a number of colleges and universities.

Peter has served on eight public company boards and continues as a Vice Chairman of New York Presbyterian Hospital and several other nor-for-profit organizations.

In 2006 Mr. Georgescu published his first book “The Source of Success” — asserting that personal values and creativity, devoted to creating lasting relationships with individual customers, are the leading drivers of business success in the 21st Century.

  • A Family Reunited

    This short video recounts the Georgescu parent’s refusal to submit to blackmail, at great personal risk—and the ultimate vindication of their adherence to what was right.
  • Order the Book

    THE CONSTANT CHOICE is a remarkable story that transcends memoir or autobiography in favor of a reflective look at an unusual life. pre-order now
  • Other Works

    The drivers of business success in the 21st century are clear. The two most fundamental are creativity through productive innovation, and management through decency and human values. order now