Q&A: Retiring Grey Chairman Jim Heekin Reflects on 45 Years in Advertising and His Second Job as a Fictional FBI Agent

Agency turnaround artist talks Martin Sorrell and James Patterson


Has anyone told you lately that the ad industry is dying? Jim Heekin has heard that one so many times that it’s almost funny.

This week, the executive chairman of Grey, who led that WPP network for almost 14 years before Michael Houston assumed the CEO role in 2017, announced his retirement after four and a half decades spent in a business he once described as “the last place I wanted to be.”

Adweek spoke to him about the ups, the downs, myth versus reality and working with two very different celebrities: Martin Sorrell and James Patterson.

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