Graves, who had been the firm’s global CEO since 2009, will now hold the newly- created title of Chairman; Smith, who served as CEO of Ogilvy worldwide in London, will assume Graves’ former role.
Graves is also a longtime PR advocate who isn’t afraid to jump into the comments to defend his discipline. In the press release, Miles Young (CEO of the larger Ogilvy & Mather organization) praises Graves for his near-ten-year stint at the firm as well as his “public presence, his intellectual force and passion for innovation.”
Graves joined Ogilvy from the news side after spending years in production/management roles at CNN, Dow Jones and CNBC.
In his new role, Graves will focus on agency growth via initiatives like M&A and intellectual properties as well as innovation and the expansion of the Social@Ogilvy group. Smith will manage the firm’s day-to-day operations.
For more than three years, Smith has both managed Ogilvy’s global corporate practice and served as CEO of its EAME operations. While he will move to the company’s New York office for his new job, he will also retain oversight of Ogilvy offices in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. (AdAge notes that the firm’s London office grew to become its largest in Europe during Smith’s tenure.)
Smith has an extensive agency background that includes UK-based leadership roles at Burson-Marsteller, Edelman and Hill+Knowlton.
Both executives’ new roles will include a focus on expanding Ogilvy’s content creation services.