In January, Silverman, who has served as CEO since 2002, will become chairman and Graves will assume the CEO post. Graves said his appointment does not signal a change in Ogilvy's strategy or direction.
“I won't barge into a successful operation and say this is my new approach,” Graves told PRWeek. “My priority will be to have face time with the leadership across the board.”
While 2008 was a colossal year for the agency, Graves expects to take helm of the agency after a robust but not record-breaking 2009. He said he plans to expand the agency's specializations, geographic reach, and integration with other arms of Ogilvy. For example, Graves plans to focus on growth in Latin America and growing demographics like Islamic branding.
The role that Silverman, who has been with the agency for more than 20 years, will play as chair is still being determined. But Graves expects her to continue offering counsel and growing new lines of business.
In 2005, Graves joined Ogilvy PR in Asia after working in the news industry for more than 20 years. He said the agency's strong performance in Asia and his media experience were factors in his selection.
Silverman was named PRWeek's "PR professional of the year" at the 2009 awards.