Grey Group has appointed its next generation of leadership with the promotion of Michael Houston to Worldwide Chief Executive Officer of Grey Group, effective immediately. A ten-year veteran of Grey, he has served since 2016 as Global President and becomes only the fifth person to hold the CEO position since Grey’s founding in 1917.
James R. Heekin, who has led the company, as Chairman and CEO of Grey Group since 2007, will remain Executive Chairman of Grey Group. He will continue to work closely with Houston, global management and clients to ensure a smooth transition and Grey’s ongoing success in the years ahead.
Michael Houston joined Grey New York, the global network’s flagship headquarters office, in 2007 as Executive Vice President, Director of Marketing, to lead Grey’s business development and brand marketing efforts.
He was promoted to Global Chief Marketing Officer of Grey worldwide in 2010 in recognition of Grey’s unprecedented growth. Appointed to the new position of Managing Director of Grey New York in 2011, Houston took on the role of Chief Operating Officer of the 1,000-person strong office in 2012. Michael Houston was named to the prestigious Crain’s New York Business “40 Under 40” list in 2012.
One year later, Houston was promoted to CEO of Grey North America overseeing the New York, San Francisco and Canadian offices as well as Grey Activation and PR and Wing, the multicultural marketing communications agency. Under his leadership, Grey has won such blue-chip clients as Gillette, Volvo, Nestlé, Hasbro, Papa John’s, Kellogg’s and Marriott. He took on an expanded worldwide leadership role in 2016 when he became Global President of Grey.
About James R. Heekin III
James R. Heekin became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Grey Group in January 2007, after leading Grey, the company’s global advertising arm, since the fall of 2005. He succeeded the legendary advertising titan, Edward H. Meyer, whose career included more than three decades as CEO.
Under Heekin’s leadership, Grey has energized its management ranks with a sweeping infusion of world-class talent; introduced a new global strategic model for developing outstanding creative ideas across platforms; enhanced its total communications offering with acquisitions in every region; enjoyed the most successful decade in its history adding over $2 billion in new business billings from blue-chip clients and has become a global creative powerhouse.
Grey Group ranks among the largest global communications companies. Its parent company is WPP. Under the banner of “Grey Famously Effective Since 1917,” the agency serves a blue-chip roster of many of the world’s best known companies: Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, Kellogg’s, Pfizer, Canon, NFL, Boehringer Ingelheim, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Nestlé, Papa John’s, T.J. Maxx, Volvo, Darden Restaurants, Walgreens and Applebee’s.