Miles Young

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Miles Young
Leader of Westminster City Council
In office
August 1993 – June 1995
Preceded byDavid Weeks
Succeeded byMelvyn Caplan
Councillor (Victoria Ward)
In office
Personal details
BornJune 1954
Carlisle, England
Political partyConservative
OccupationWarden of New College, Oxford

Peter Miles Young (born June 1954) is a British businessman, former politician and the incumbent Warden of New College, Oxford.[1] Until September 2016, he was worldwide Chairman and CEO of the international advertising, marketing and public relations agency Ogilvy & Mather. He retains a non-executive role with the firm.[2] Young's career in advertising has spanned Lintas, Allen Brady & Marsh and Ogilvy & Mather, whom he joined in 1983. He is also a former leader of Westminster City Council, where he was a councillor from 1986 to 1998.

Early life and business career[edit]

Young was born in Carlisle and brought up in Bedford, where he was educated at Bedford School.[3] He subsequently attended New College, Oxford, where he gained a first class degree in Modern History. From there he went into advertising at Lintas.

After working for the Allen, Brady & Marsh agency, he joined Ogilvy & Mather in London in 1983, and was appointed to the board in 1986.[4]

In 1990, he was appointed as Managing Director of Ogilvy & Mather Direct in London. Between 1990 and 1995, he was Regional Director of Ogilvy & Mather Direct Europe, whilst from 1994 to 1995 he had additional responsibility for running the IBM account in Europe. In 1995, Young was appointed Chairman of Asia Pacific at Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide.

He was CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide from 2008, and CEO of the Ogilvy Group from 2009. He was Chairman of the Board and Director of Ogilvy & Mather SAS from 2012.

Young is a co-founder of the Ogilvy-Tsinghua Programme for Public Branding, a joint venture with Tsinghua University, Beijing, and is a member of the Advisory Board of Tsinghua University. He is a visiting Professor of Xiamen University and of the Wanli Ningbo University. He succeeded Sir Curtis Price as the Warden of New College, Oxford in September 2016.

Political career[edit]

In 1986, Young was elected to Westminster City Council as a Conservative councillor, representing Victoria ward. At this election, the Conservatives had only narrowly retained control of the council, with Labour just a few seats away from winning the borough for the first time.[5]

As a consequence of the close result, the Conservative administration began to implement a policy they called 'Building Stable Communities'. This targeted the "eight key wards" deemed to be the most marginal, and therefore decisive in affecting the political makeup of the council. The main objective of the policy was to achieve designated sales of council housing in these areas, as homeowners tended to vote Conservative, and people living in social housing were more inclined to vote for Labour, therefore ensuring that the council remained under Conservative control. Young's own ward in Victoria was one of the eight marginals, and he had won his seat by a majority of just 248 votes.[6]

In June 1987, then-council leader Shirley Porter made Young chairman of the Environment Committee. According to a 1994 report in The Guardian newspaper, "this qualified him for the 'informal' chairmen's group meetings which drove so much of the BSC [Building Stable Communities] agenda and monitored its progress. In the Environment chair, Young was responsible for a strand of BSC called Quality of Life, which involved so-called ZIP teams clearing up litter." A BBC Panorama investigation revealed that "the resources of Quality of Life were specially concentrated" on the "eight key wards" which Porter focused on winning. 'Building Stable Communities' was later found to be unlawful and became known as the Homes for votes scandal.

Young became leader of the council in August 1993, and was initially hesitant to drop the policies linked to BSC.[7] At the time, Young said that there was "a political view that it was very important to boost middle-income home ownership in Westminster. It is a nonsense to claim that the designated sales policy in any way whatsoever was designed to, or was even capable of, influencing an election result." This followed the 1990 election, in which the Conservatives had won a landslide victory (thus reversing their small majority from 1986).[8]

Young's tenure as leader ended in June 1995, and he stood down from the council in 1998. It has been alleged that during this latter period of his time representing residents of Westminster, he was actually living in Hong Kong.[9]


  1. ^ "New College, Oxford: Appointment of Next Warden". Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Ogilvy & Mather's John Seifert Succeeds Miles Young as Worldwide CEO". Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  3. ^ Lynch, Andrew (10 March 2013). "Leading edge: Miles Young". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  4. ^ Lynch, Andrew (10 March 2013). "Leading edge: Miles Young". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  5. ^ Boothroyd, David. "Westminster City Council Election Results". Westminster City Council Election Results. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  6. ^ Boothroyd, David. "Victoria Ward 1964-68, 1978-". Westminster City Council Election Results. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  7. ^ Hill, Dave (5 November 1994). "Investigation: the Westminster boys". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  8. ^ Macintyre, Donald (14 January 1994). "The Westminster Scandal: Disgraceful, wilful, unlawful, unauthorised, improper: The Westminster homes-for-votes scandal: the District Auditor's damning verdict ." Independent. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  9. ^ Boothroyd, David (16 June 2015). "David Boothroyd on Twitter: "@MichaelLCrick Ex leader of Westminster City Council (August 1993 - June 1995) and my local councillor 1995-98 while he lived in Hong Kong"". Twitter. Retrieved 18 January 2019.