Ogilvy promotes Smith to global CEO; Graves becomes chairman

Ogilvy PR has shuffled its top executive ranks, naming Stuart Smith global CEO and moving Christopher Graves to the chairman role, effective immediately.

New Ogilvy PR global CEO Stuart Smith
New Ogilvy PR global CEO Stuart Smith

NEW YORK: Ogilvy Public Relations has promoted Stuart Smith, its CEO for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, to global chief executive, effective immediately.

The firm’s current global CEO, Christopher Graves, has been named chairman.

Smith, who has worked at Ogilvy PR since February 2011, will manage the agency’s daily operations worldwide in his new role.

"As the discipline of public relations continues rapidly to evolve and unlock big, fresh opportunities, we need to adapt our management structure accordingly," said Ogilvy & Mather CEO Miles Young, in a statement.

Prior to joining Ogilvy as MD of its global corporate practice, Smith served as head of Hill & Knowlton's EMEA corporate practice for three years. He also previously worked at Edelman, where he led the firm’s UK operations.  

Graves has worked at Ogilvy PR for 10 years. He took on his most recent US-based position in January 2010 after serving as president and CEO of the Asia-Pacific region for five years.

In addition to offering senior counsel to clients, Graves will focus on a number of areas as chairman, including mergers and acquisition, content marketing innovations, new intellectual properties, and Social@Ogilvy.

On PRWeek’s 2014 Power List of the 50 Most Influential People in PR, Graves ranked No. 36, up from No. 37 the previous year.

In terms of financial performance, Ogilvy PR had a flat year globally in 2013, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report. Graves said Asia and Europe were the firm’s top performing regions last year, while London and South Africa were notable growth markets.

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