Doug Ray, Will Swayne Take New Posts At Carat

Shift Follows Shop's Win of 30% of P&G's Massive Media Account

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Will Swayne (l.) and Doug Ray
Will Swayne (l.) and Doug Ray Credit: Courtesy DentsuAegis

Carat is reshuffling leadership as it charts growth in the U.S. and abroad.

Doug Ray, global president and U.S. CEO, will cede his global president role to Will Swayne and focus solely on managing and growing the U.S. business. Mr. Swayne, who has been serving as global client president, leading the shop's P&G business, will now take on broader global duties.

The move comes on the heels of the Procter & Gamble media agency shift earlier this month in which Carat won about one-third of the account and Omnicom Group took the rest.

While P&G is not the sole reason for the change, the timing of this latest Carat announcement is in line with the culmination of the review, said Rob Horler, CEO of parent network DentsuAegis in North America. Mr. Swayne had led the pitch while serving as chief client officer on the P&G business that Carat already held. The shop has a new P&G lead in the U.S. but declined to disclose the name at this time.

Mr. Ray had had run the global business from the New York office, but his return to a regional focus is not a demotion, insisted Mr. Horler. The agency's business has grown significantly under Mr. Ray, and now he'll be refocusing on a U.S. market that's seen a 75% boost in revenue over the past five years, he said.

"Doug has been doing two jobs and doing them brilliantly," Said Mr. Horler. "The rest of the group is looking to the U.S. to be the preeminent brand. Global brand president -- that's really a product with lots of travel [and] quite a lot of new business and pitching. Those global jobs have a lifespan."

The obvious next step for Mr. Ray would be a regional DentsuAegis role, he added. "His next job in our network is my job," said Mr. Horler. "He needs to be here fulltime, develop and grow Carat [and] spend more time with colleagues in other businesses to have a shot at that job. The natural journey is a bigger job running a region, and he's well suited to do that."

Dentsu Aegis in North America houses Carat and a number of specialty shops, including Posterscope, Isobar and MKTG, among others. Creative agency McGarryBowen and digital shop 360i are also part of the network.

For now, Mr. Ray will continue to oversee Carat's U.S. market, which includes the media agency giant's largest client, General Motors. Although the existing four-year contract is just about up, the shop has been renegotiating its contract with the automotive giant and is likely to extend the relationship for another period of time, according to people familiar with the matter.

As for Mr. Swayne, "he's widely considered in our business to be one of our preeminent product guys, and has proven it with his delivery on P&G," said Mr. Horler. Mr. Swayne is based in the U.K.

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