Résumé: Prior to becoming president of Carat, Doug Ray oversaw communications and planning for clients such as Procter & Gamble; before joining in 2004, he spent time at Ammirati Puris Lintas and DiMassimo Brand Advertising.
Challenge: "Not screwing it up," he said. "When I took on the business a year ago, we were on a successful growth streak."
Quick fact: Mr. Ray was a competitive springboard diver for 10 years.
In 1995, Ad Age dubbed Mr. Ray a "new breed" of media planner with real-life marketing experience. Today, he says, "Our clients are looking for marketing solutions. We happen to be looking through a media lens."
The Ohio native never wavered from that point of view, which served him well heading up planning for Carat's P&G business and then for the agency. He quickly moved up the ladder and, in his short time as president, has helped to win giants, such as General Motors, one of the largest accounts in history, as well as smaller accounts like GoPro.
He's also created a new exec-VP level as part of a mission to "identify key leaders within the company" and offer them more responsibility. He also got rid of the hierarchical tendencies of the old org chart and more closely aligned departments, such as data analytics and consumer insights, as well as digital and broadcast.
"I'm passionate about people, giving them the ability to grow and clear direction on where they're going to be in their careers years from now," he said.