Grey Group has named its next Worldwide CEO with the promotion of Michael Houston, who has served with the company for a decade.

Grey Group has elevated Michael Houston (pictured) to Worldwide Chief Executive Officer. The 10-year agency veteran has served as Global President since 2016 and is the fifth person to hold the CEO position since the firm’s inception in 1917.

James R. Heekin, who has led the company as Chairman and CEO for a decade, will remain Executive Chairman. He will continue to work with Houston, global management, and clients to ensure a smooth transition and the brand’s ongoing success in the years ahead.

Houston joined the network’s flagship headquarters office in New York in 2007 as EVP, Director of Marketing to lead business development and brand marketing. He was made Global Chief Marketing Officer in 2010 in recognition of Grey’s unprecedented growth.

Appointed to the position of New York’s MD in 2011, he then took on the role of Chief Operating Officer of the 1,000-strong office a year later. In 2013, he was named CEO of the North American region, overseeing the New York, San Francisco, and Canadian offices.

In said capacity, he also headed up Grey Activation and PR and Wing, the multicultural marketing communications outfit. Under his leadership, the agency has won such blue-chip accounts as Gillette, Nestlé, Hasbro, Papa John’s, Kellogg’s, Volvo, and Marriott.

“As we celebrate our centennial and a decade of record new business growth, the time is right for the elevation of a new generation. Michael is one of our most dynamic leaders. His well-deserved promotion will help set the agenda for our future growth,” said Heekin.

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