Internal Memo: John Patroulis Replaces Tor Myhren as Worldwide Chief Creative Officer at Grey

By Erik Oster 

Grey has named John Patroulis as global chief creative officer, based out of its New York office. He replaces Tor Myhren, who left to join Apple as vice president of marketing communications in December of 2015. 

“John has this rare and perfect combination of creative preciousness and steadfast business acumen,” Grey global president Michael Houston told Adweek. “We’re excited to partner with him to ensure that Grey New York is absolutely at the top of its game.”

“There was no rush to replace Tor when he left,” he explained, describing the former leader’s absence as “an opportunity to rethink what the future of the agency and the evolution of ‘Famously Effective’ look like as we change with our clients.”


Patroulis joins Grey from BBH New York, where he has spent the past two years as creative chairman, following three as chief creative officer. Prior to that he co-founded twofifteenmccann and served as the agency’s executive creative director. He also helped found another San Francisco agency, T.A.G., for which he served as global creative director/executive creative director.

In his new role, Patroulis will work closely with Grey New York CEO Debby Reiner, who was promoted to that role back in December, while reporting to Houston.

Houston and Grey Global CEO Jim Heekin announced the news in an internal memo, which we’ve included below.

We wanted to share the great news that John Patroulis will be joining the agency as Worldwide Chief Creative Officer, based in New York.

John will partner with Debby Reiner, CEO of Grey New York, in the management of the founding office in the network. He will oversee all creative development; help set and implement the creative vision; spearhead the recruitment of top talent and guide new business creative efforts.

John is one of a kind.  He’s brought his unique creative talents to build giant global brands for giant global networks.  He also co-founded two agencies on the cutting-edge of integrated storytelling and social-media driven content that have expanded the boundaries of advertising.

An innovator and marketing influencer, John Patroulis has spent the past six years at BBH New York.  He became Chief Creative Officer of the agency in 2011 and was promoted to be its first-ever Creative Chairman in 2015.

Under his leadership, BBH New York has been named to Advertising Age’s Creativity A-List and he was named to the Adweek 50.  With integrated campaigns for clients like Playstation, Axe, Google and Cole Haan, BBH New York has become one of the most awarded agencies in city, winning multiple Lions across Film, Cyber, and Integrated categories, as well as winning the Integrated Grand Prix for Netflix “House of Cards.”

John has won every top international creative honor several times over including the One Show “Best in Show,” Grand Clio, The Grandy and Cannes Grand Prix, which he has won three times.

Per Pedersen, who was recently promoted to Global Creative Chairman, will continue to lead the Grey Global Creative Council and work with our senior creative leaders across the world.  Together, they have delivered record performances at Cannes with breakthrough work for a host of clients.

Please give both your full support as we stretch the boundaries of “Famously Effective” creativity.

Jim and Michael