Grey New York Promotes Debby Reiner to the New Role of CEO

By Erik Oster 

Grey has promoted Debby Reiner to the newly-created role of CEO, Grey New York.

The decision was announced by global president Michael Houston in a town hall meeting this morning and an internal memo sent out by Houston and global CEO Jim Heekin.

Debby is a natural to lead our 1,100 strong flagship. Her passion, skill, dynamism and dedication to excellence have endeared her to clients and colleagues alike,” they wrote in the memo.


Reiner is a longtime veteran of the agency, most recently serving as president of the agency’s global P&G business, a role she has held since May of 2015. She originally joined Grey to work on the agency’s CoverGirl account after graduating from Harvard University with a BA in history. She left the agency to serve as account director on Clairol for JWT, where she was named a senior partner before leaving to return to Grey in 1999 to work on P&G’s Pantene haircare brand.

She worked her way up to the position of executive vice president, group director before being promoted to president on the global P&G business. In her most recent role, she played an important role in developing campaigns for P&G’s CoverGirl brand featuring Ellen DeGeneres and Clairol ads featuring transgender model Tracey Norman.

Here’s the statement from Heekin and Houston in full:

We wanted to share some great news with you.  We are delighted to announce that Debby Reiner has been promoted to CEO of Grey New York, a new position.

Debby is known to so many of you around the world from her outstanding work as President Grey/Global P&G, overseeing the agency’s largest client’s entire portfolio of brands.

Joining Grey New York in 1989 after graduation from Harvard, Debby embraced her passion for the beauty business, working on CoverGirl.  After a successful stint running Clairol at JWT, she came home to Grey to lead the global reinvention of Pantene in 1999.

Over the years, Debby has helped build Grey into the number one beauty agency in the world with iconic juggernaut brands such as Pantene, Clairol, CoverGirl and an array of fragrances.  She led the team that won the global Gillette account in 2013 and later added Venus, Braun and the Art of Shaving business in 2014.

From Ellen DeGeneres for CoverGirl to transgender model Tracey Norman for Clairol to our Gillette Olympic anthem, Grey’s advertising has put these mega-brands front and center in pop culture conversation, driven their growth and been honored at Cannes.

Debby is a natural to lead our 1,100 strong flagship.  Her passion, skill, dynamism and dedication to excellence have endeared her to clients and colleagues alike.

This well-deserved promotion, coming as we close another strong year at Grey and prepare to celebrate our centennial next year, recognizes the pivotal role Debby has played in our success.  Her appointment opens a new chapter in our evolution as a “Famously Effective” agency focused on the future.

Please give Debby your congratulations and your full support as she hits the ground running in January.

You have our very best wishes for the holidays and 2017 and our thanks for all our shared accomplishments this year.


Jim Heekin and Michael Houston