Grey Group has announced the appointment of Laura Maness as Global Chief Executive Officer, effective from September 1, 2022.
She will become the first female CEO at the agency, and sixth overall, in Grey’s 105-year history.
Maness’ role involves building Grey’s international capabilities and AKQA Group expertise.
Maness will be replacing Michael Houston who was appointed President of Grey parent company WPP in June, overseeing their US business.
Maness has over 25 years of work experience. Prior to Grey, she served as CEO of Havas Group’s North American flagship agency, Havas New York. She has also overseen several specialist practices, including Annex88 and a Havas CX)in the US.
Before that, she served as US Chief Growth Officer for Havas Worldwide North America and Managing Director of Havas Chicago. Before joining Havas, she was head of growth for FCB in San Francisco.
“As only the sixth CEO in 105 years, the opportunity to renew, galvanise and grow a legendary and celebrated agency like Grey — combined with the unmatched calibre of talent from across the globe — is incredibly meaningful. “I look forward to building on the strong foundation of Grey’s storytelling prowess and famously effective work by fuelling a culture of creativity, innovation, and continuous impact,” said Maness.
Mark Read, CEO of WPP, commented, “Laura believes in the power of what we do to make a difference in the world, and has an impressive track record of delivering growth for agencies, their people, and their clients. I’m delighted she’s joining AKQA Group as Global CEO of Grey. Grey is known for outstanding creativity that produces outstanding results, and I’m sure that reputation will only grow under Laura’s leadership.”
“Laura is entrepreneurial, dynamic and energetic. She unites by building community — not hierarchy — inspiring with an enlightened leadership approach and a proven track record. “With a focus on innovation and as a champion of multidisciplinary solutions for clients, Laura is the ideal CEO to help shape Grey’s strategic vision and path ahead. I am looking forward to working in partnership with Laura and the team at Grey,” added Ajaz Ahmed, AKQA Group CEO.