Grey New York Names Its First Chief Executive Officer

20-year veteran Debby Reiner to lead flagship office

Grey New York CEO Debby Reiner made the announcement during the 4A's conference in Miami.
Headshot of Patrick Coffee

Today, Grey announced the WPP agency has promoted longtime partner and account director Debby Reiner to CEO of its flagship office in Manhattan. It's a new position, announced by global president Michael Houston during the agency's holiday Town Hall meeting this morning.

Reiner has spent more than 20 years with Grey during her career in advertising; she ascended to the role of president of the global P&G business last May as the consumer goods giant—which is also the agency's largest client—moved to expand on a relationship that has lasted nearly 60 years.

"Debby is a natural to lead our 1,100 strong flagship," Houston said in a statement. "She has been a prime mover in making Grey a creative and new business powerhouse. Her passion, skill, dynamism and dedication to excellence have endeared her to clients and colleagues alike."

"This well-deserved promotion, coming as we close an outstanding year in Grey New York's history and prepare to celebrate our centennial next year, recognizes the pivotal role Debby has played in our success. Her appointment opens a new chapter in our evolution as a 'Famously Effective' agency focused on the future," added Grey Global Group CEO and chairman James R. Heekin III.

Reiner first came to Grey in 1989 to work on the CoverGirl account after graduating from Harvard with a B.A. in History. She later managed the Clairol business for J. Walter Thompson, becoming a senior partner at the WPP shop before returning to Grey in 1999 as the agency helped manage the "reinvention" of P&G's haircare brand Pantene.

Since then, she has helped Grey integrate its various offerings across the digital, shopper and activation marketing disciplines while also working on the agency's beauty roster, which includes such prominent brands as Clairol and CoverGirl. She played a prominent role in the development of highly visible campaigns ranging from Ellen DeGeneres promoting CoverGirl to recent Clairol work starring transgender model Tracey Norman.

After handling the P&G business for several years, Reiner was promoted to evp, partner and global beauty director, later leading the team that helped Grey add P&G's shaving brands Gillette, Venus, Braun and the Art of Shaving to its client roster in 2013 and 2014.

"It is an incredible honor to be entrusted with the leadership of Grey New York as we celebrate our 100th anniversary," Reiner said regarding her new role. "The Grey brand has tremendous vitality and potential.  I look forward to working with our talented team to capitalize on our momentum and shape our future."

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: December 15, 2016 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT