Grey N.Y. Appoints Marketing Chief

NEW YORK Michael Houston has joined the New York flagship office of WPP Group’s Grey as evp, director of marketing, a new post. He will helm business development efforts and help communicate the depth of Grey’s integrated offering to both consultants and clients.

Houston, 35, most recently served at crosstown MDC Partners shop Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners as a partner and director of corporate development, leading new business efforts and overseeing corporate branding and press relations for the agency’s network.

“Michael is one of the most respected and innovative marketers in our industry, with his finger on the pulse of what clients are looking for from their agency partners,” said Steve Hardwick, president of Grey in New York, in a statement. “He is going to help us chart a new path to growth by making our team more strategic and aggressive in the hunt, inclusive in marshalling our integrated resources and focused on becoming a winning organization every time out.”

During Houston’s five years at Kirshenbaum, the agency won several key accounts, including BMW, Diageo, Old Navy and Wendy’s, among others.

“I found [Grey Global CEO] Jim Heekin and Steve Hardwick’s vision for, and the team behind, the new Grey, very compelling,” said Houston. “We’re going to leverage talent to transform Grey into ‘The Idea Company.’ Approach it like a huge startup, no sacred cows, and put a new face on Grey.”