Grey worldwide CEO Michael Houston announced today that the agency has hired 17-year industry veteran Cory Berger to serve as its first global chief marketing officer.
“We’ve established this new position to advance Grey’s borderless way of working in order to seize new growth opportunities on a global basis,” wrote Houston in a statement, describing the new executive as “a highly-respected marketer with his finger on the pulse of what clients are looking for.”
Moving forward, Berger will manage the network’s efforts to market itself, manage its reputation and seek new business around the world. The news comes one day after executive chairman Jim Heekin, who led Grey for more than 12 years before Houston took over in 2017, announced his retirement; he spent four and a half decades in the advertising business.
Berger arrives at Grey from Pereira O’Dell, where he served as managing director after establishing and overseeing the independent agency’s New York office. During his time there, he helped develop the indie shop’s relationships with clients such as MINI, Fox Sports, Reebok and General Mills, among others. He previously held accounts and strategy roles at Mother New York, Momentum Worldwide and Havas.
His is the latest in a string of international hires for Grey, including Javier Campopiano of “It’s a Tide Ad” fame, who will lead creative for the network’s European division. Grey also recently named Adrian Rossi as creative chairman of its London office and Bernardo Romero as executive creative director for the newly formed Health and Wellness division.
“We have established this new position to advance our borderless way of working,” wrote Houston in an all-staff memo noting that Berger “will be responsible for driving Grey’s growth across our global network.”
He continued, “It is vital that we speak with one voice and market our agency as a united front. To do that, Cory will develop a strategic engagement plan to effectively deliver the Grey brand story and our capabilities to all key audiences: clients, prospects, influencers, the media and employees.”
Most of Grey’s recent new business wins have come in the healthcare category, though the agency has earned far more attention for its controversial work for P&G brand Gillette, including a January ad questioning the modern definition of masculinity as tagline “The Best a Man Can Get” turned 30 and a more recent spot in which a father teaches his transgender son to shave.
“[Grey’s] singular focus of using creativity to solve business problems is one that I believe has never been more relevant and needed,” wrote Berger in his own statement. “As I talked with Michael and his team about their vision to create the next generation of Grey, it became clear this opportunity was too awesome to pass up.”
The new executive begins later this summer.