Born in Manchester, Richard spent his youth at Manchester Grammar School before going up to St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1978.
He joined Saatchi & Saatchi in 2003 as Chairman & CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa, having graduated as a Sloan Fellow from London Business School. Prior to that, Richard had been UK CEO & Chairman of Publicis and Chairman of WPP's The Henley Centre.
He was appointed an Executive Fellow of the London Business School, attached to the Marketing Faculty, in August 2007. He is Chairman of Planting Promise, a sustainable educational enterprise in Sierra Leone, a founder trustee of The Business Bridge Initiative, and is on the Board of the British Heart Foundation's £50 million Mending Broken Hearts Appeal
Currently Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, Richard is a United fan through and through. In 1998, along with Michael Crick and a handful of other Manchester United shareholders, he became one of the founding members of Shareholders United Against Murdoch which became Shareholders United in 1999 and was transformed into MUST - the independent Manchester United Supporters' Trust in 2005.
Raymond Snoddy said of him in the The Times "It was Hytner, a Mancunian, who picked up the telephone to television journalist and fellow fan Michael Crick to see off satellite broadcaster BSkyB (in which The News Corporation, parent company of The Times, has a 35.4 per cent stake) from taking over his club. The Saatchi executive gave evidence to the Competition Commission and the deal was ultimately blocked. The organisation of small Manchester United shareholders, Shareholders United, now has more than 10,000 members and is increasingly influential." from: The Saatchi chief who won't tolerate mediocre creativity. (2004)
Richard's response to being asked if he would consider taking the role of President of MUST was "I would be absolutely thrilled to bits. Better than any promotion I've ever had. I'd be both delighted and honoured. Thank you!"