Grey Group Appoints Laura Maness Global CEO

Laura Maness

Grey Group has named integrated communications expert, Laura Maness as the agency’s global Chief Executive Officer as it continues the transformation of its C-Suite.

Maness joins from Havas, where she led the agency as the New York CEO, and previously held U.S. chief growth officer and managing director of Chicago roles at the agency.

She becomes the sixth CEO in Grey’s history and the first woman to attain that height.

In the new role, Maness is tasked with building on Grey’s international capabilities and AKQA Group expertise.

Grey, which merged in 2020 with AKQA, has undergone significant upheaval within its leadership team over the past six weeks. Former CEO Michael Houston switched roles within WPP to become the holding company’s first North America president.

Earlier this month, two of its top creatives, global creative chairman John Patroulis and New York CCO Justine Armour, left the agency for personal reasons. Debby Reiner, who served as the global client lead for Grey Worldwide and global client lead for the P&G account, retired. She was replaced by Stacey Shelly on the P&G account and Jason Kahner took on the global client lead role. Andre Gray recently left for a chief creative officer role at Annex88, a Havas agency.

“One of my favorite quotes is ‘every day is a chance to begin again,’” Maness told Adweek. “And this really is a new beginning.”

Also speaking to Adweek, AKQA Group CEO Ajaz Ahmed, who described Maness as “entrepreneurial, dynamic and energetic,” said, “Having built a culture of camaraderie, creativity, innovation, meaning and impact at Havas, Laura is the right person to lead the revolution on a significantly larger canvas: that of Grey globally.”

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