Stagwell Group hires IBM vet Ray Day

He is vice chair of the company's marketing and comms agencies.

Ray Day
Ray Day

WASHINGTON: The Stagwell Group has hired IBM and Ford alum Ray Day as vice chair of its marketing and communications agencies. 

Day started in the newly created role this week and reports to Stagwell Group president and managing partner Mark Penn. The position was created to continue the integration, innovation and growth of the Stagwell Group companies, building the "agencies of the future" and enabling the future of communications and marketing, according to a statement from the firm.

"I am very passionate about successful companies, brands and comms leaders having much more of a focus on the future, rather than the here and now," Day told PRWeek. "That future will be defined by the digital, mobile, measurable and engaging. I want to create the future of comms."

Day will lead and integrate across all the Stagwell agencies to continue growing and providing clients, brands and communications teams with the "best" people, solutions and services. This includes building for a future with increasing market demand for an agency partner designed around flexibility, creativity, technology, data and speed, according to a statement.

In addition to his cross-Stagwell role, Day will serve as chair of Targeted Victory, leading an expansion of its crisis practice and corporate affairs offerings. Targeted Victory, a member of the Stagwell Group, is a digital-first, full-service public affairs, strategy and marketing agency headquartered in the Washington, DC, area.

Stagwell companies include Code and Theory, ForwardPMX, Grason, Harris Insights & Analytics, HarrisX, Ink, Locaria, MMI Agency, Multiview, National Research Group, Observatory, Reputation Defender, Scout, SKDKnickerbocker, Stagwell Tech, Targeted Victory and Wye Communications.

Last month, Day exited IBM, where he led global communications and corporate citizenship organizations. Jonathan Adashek replaced him. 

Day made changes quickly at IBM after replacing SVP of communications and chief brand officer Jon Iwata in late 2017, adding a number of prominent in-house staffers and revamping IBM’s global agency roster. In 2018, he added Weber Shandwick as global anchor agency, as well as SKDKnickerbocker, Spectrum Science Communications and Civic Entertainment Group.

Another big change at IBM: Arvind Krishna is becoming the company's 10th CEO, replacing Ginni Rometty, effective April 6.

Day previously had a 28-year career at Ford, culminating in a decade as its chief communications officer. Before joining the automaker, Day was a newspaper reporter and editor in the Detroit area.

"On IBM, it was an honor building the team and IBM’s communications capability during the past two years -- just as it was an honor to serve another iconic brand, Ford, for 28 years," Day told PRWeek, reflecting on his career. "I am incredibly proud of all we accomplished together. Now, I am excited to turn my attention to building the agencies of the future for the future of communications, while rooting for the IBM communications team’s continued success."

Day has regularly appeared on PRWeek’s annual Power List, ranking No. 22 in 2019

Penn founded Stagwell Group in 2015 with an initial investment capital of $250 million. Last year, he took a 29% stake in MDC Partners and was named CEO.

In December, MDC Partners formed an agency network bringing together U.S. creative shop Doner with six complementary specialist firms in North America, including PR firms KWT Global and HL Group. 

Separately, Stagwell also owns a minority stake in Finn Partners.

MDC Partners reported a nearly 9% drop in revenue in Q3 to $342 million. 

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