James R Heekin joins Grey as Chairman and CEO

18 Aug 2005

Grey Global Group today announced that James R. Heekin III, 56, has joined the company as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Grey Worldwide, the global advertising arm of Grey Global Group. He will assume global responsibilities for Grey Worldwide immediately. He will report to Edward H. Meyer, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Grey Global Group. In making the announcement, Ed Meyer said, "Jim Heekin is a world-class leader on the global advertising stage and a giant in our industry. His arrival opens an exciting new chapter in the growth and development of Grey Worldwide."

"Jim and I have known each other for years. I have long respected him for his personal qualities and business achievements, and I look forward to working with him. This is a great day for Grey Worldwide, our clients and our people."

Jim Heekin said, "The opportunity to lead Grey Worldwide is the high point of my professional career. I look forward to partnering with Ed Meyer and the accomplished people working across the network in 83 countries. Our goal is to make Grey the global leader in talent; powerful branding ideas grounded in consumer understanding and superlative creativity and delivery in every channel for our clients. These have been, and will continue to be, the cornerstones of Grey’s growth."


James R. Heekin III served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Euro RSCG Worldwide from 2004 until his resignation in early August. He joined the agency in late 2003 as President and Chief Operating Officer. Heekin is credited with spearheading the revitalization and growth of the global network. Under his leadership, Euro RSCG Worldwide dramatically transformed its business development efforts, winning in excess of $700 million in new business and adding such blue-chip accounts as Charles Schwab, Jaguar, Glaxo SmithKline’s Advair, Schering- Plough’s Claritin, Heineken USA’s Dos Equis Beer, Lacoste and LG Electronics in Europe. The agency ranked among the best new business gainers in 2004, according to Advertising Age. At Euro RSCG, Heekin launched the company’s global marketing services brand, Euro RSCG 4D, the world’s largest digital network; energized the agency’s management ranks with new account, creative and planning talent and elevated creative standards, making it one of the top five Lion winners at Cannes 2005.

Earlier in his career, Jim Heekin served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of McCann-Erickson WorldGroup and McCann-Erickson Worldwide. Under his leadership, McCann was named "Global Agency of the Year" in 2001 by Adweek magazine. He joined McCann in 1993 as Regional Director of North America and led the agency’s development of major quality initiatives in the areas of Strategic Planning, Creativity and Total Communications. His efforts contributed to record new business years; an outstanding track record in client stability and retention; and the win of more Effie Awards than any other agency for three years running.

In 1998, Heekin was named to the London-based post of Regional Director of Europe/Middle East/Africa for McCann. During his tenure, McCann was named "European Agency of the Year." This marked the first time that one agency won both Media and Marketing magazine honors. In addition, he was a key member of the team that won Adweek’s 1998 and 1999 "Global Agency of the Year" honors.

Heekin began his advertising career in 1975 in the Research and Planning Department of J. Walter Thompson. After a brief stint in brand management at General Foods, he joined Bozell Worldwide in 1980 as Executive Vice President, Management Director on Chrysler. He returned to JWT in 1985 to lead the Miller and Burger King accounts. In 1988, he was appointed General Manager of JWT New York and, together with his creative partner, James Patterson, led the agency to unprecedented new business success. In 1993, under Heekin, J. Walter Thompson New York was named "Agency of the Year" by Adweek.

A graduate of Williams College, Heekin has served on the Board of Directors for JWT, the Interpublic Group of Companies, The American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Ad Council.