Grey London elevates Laura Jordan Bambach to president

Grey London leadership team (L to R): Jordan Bambach, Campopiano, Chicourel, King
Grey London leadership team (L to R): Jordan Bambach, Campopiano, Chicourel, King

Jordan Bambach remains creative leader of the UK operation but will now report to Michael Houston, the global CEO of Grey and chief operating officer of the new AKQA Group.

Grey London has promoted chief creative officer Laura Jordan Bambach to the additional role of president.

The agency is also in the process of appointing a new managing director following the departure of chief executive Anna Panczyk

Jordan Bambach, who joined Grey less than a year ago, previously reported to Javier Campopiano, creative chairman in London and chief creative officer of Grey Europe, but will now report to Grey's worldwide CEO Michael Houston.

Houston is on the senior leadership of AKQA Group, into which Grey was recently placed with sister WPP shop AKQA as part of the holding company's plans to merge the two agencies. Houston is chief operating officer and president of AKQA Group and its chief executive is AKQA chief executive Ajaz Ahmed.

The role of Grey London president is understood to concern setting the agency up to deliver the best creative innovation for clients, inject a entrepreneurial spirit, and create an inclusive and diverse culture. 

Houston said: “Laura is a fabulous human being. Her creative skills, matched by her entrepreneurial and digital background, plus everything that she is giving back to the community, make her a special individual.” 

In the wake of Panczyk's departure the agency’s senior management team has been working with Grey Europe CEO Eduardo Maruri. The team consists of Jordan Bambach and Campopiano as well as chief strategy officer Raquel Chicourel, who joined last year from M&C Saatchi, chief people officer Jacquie King, and chief financial officer Liam Murray. 

Jordan Bambach’s promotion is the latest sign that parent company WPP has pulled back from plans to retire the 104-year-old Grey brand quickly.

WPP announced the merger of Grey with digital agency AKQA in November to form AKQA Group but, two days later, said it would keep the Grey name “for some time”, following pushback from some clients, notably Procter & Gamble.  

WPP went on to show Grey as a standalone brand, alongside AKQA, Ogilvy, Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R, in a presentation about its creative agencies at an investor day hosted by Mark Read, chief executive of WPP, in December.

In a sign that Jordan Bambach’s star was on the rise, she was name-checked and pictured in the investor presentation as one of nine recent WPP hires that showed its “commitment to creativity”.

Grey’s global revenues fell 2.4% on an annual compound basis between 2015 and 2019, Read revealed at the investor day, as he explained how all of WPP’s creative agencies need greater digital capabilities to stay relevant.

Jordan Bambach was previously the CCO at Mr President, a creative shop she co-founded in 2012. She has a background at digital agencies, including Deepend, Glue, Dare and LBi, and she is also co-founder of women’s networking group SheSays.

Jordan Bambach said: “Diverse ideas, backgrounds, skills and experiences, and an open platform to express them, are what make for breakthrough creative work. And it’s this work that creates business growth for our clients. Since day one, I’ve been focussed on putting this principle at the heart of creative – I’m here to help everyone make the best work of their lives and to embrace difference. As a studio, we’re collaborating more, sharing and inspiring each other more, and igniting entrepreneurial energy."

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