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Carat realigns global leadership for next phase of growth

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MUMBAI: In response to the tremendous growth and success of Carat over the past five years, the agency has realigned its global leadership team to ensure continued momentum and resources to drive growth and innovation for its clients.

Doug Ray will refocus on Carat US, continuing as CEO, charged with leading the agency’s continued double-digit growth in the world’s largest market. Will Swayne, with more than 15 years leadership tenure within the network, will succeed Ray as Carat global president.

Under Ray’s leadership, Carat has grown to become the world’s third largest media agency network by billings, according to RECMA, and the fourth-largest in the US, from seventh in three years.

During Ray’s tenure, Carat has been named Agency of the Year some 54 times across 15 markets, and last month was named the number one media agency network by RECMA in its global qualitative evaluation, Carat’s fifth such distinction in the last six reports.

In the US, Carat has won close to $1.5 billion new billings this year from clients including P&G, Mondelez and Pfizer, with global clients including MasterCard, Mondelez, adidas and GM all headquartered in the US.

“Our momentum, particularly in the US over the past five years, has been tremendous, and the size and scale of Carat today now requires dedicated leadership both locally and globally to continue to deliver on our vision and our commitment to redefine media on behalf of our clients. I am looking forward to refocusing on my US role. I’m incredibly proud of all that Will and I have achieved so far and look forward to continued success,” said Ray.

Swayne and Ray have worked closely together for the past six years, with Swayne most recently Dentsu Aegis Network global client president for P&G. He assumes his new role on 1 January, 2016 as part of a planned transition, and will be responsible and instrumental in driving Carat’s next phase of growth globally.

Leading its clients through the digital economy, Swayne will be based in London and will report to Dentsu Aegis Network CEO global clients and media brands Peter Huijboom.

Swayne’s career at Dentsu Aegis began when he joined Aegis Media in 2000, as part of Carat International. In 2005 Will moved to Asia and became MD of Carat Hong Kong before transferring to the US in 2009 to take responsibility for Carat's P&G Gillette business in North America.

While in the US, Will took responsibility for all of Carat’s P&G North America business and in 2012 was promoted to Carat US East MD in recognition of his success across a number of areas, including driving forward relationships with leading global clients.

Will was appointed global client president for P&G in January 2014, and during this time Dentsu Aegis Network has significantly grown its relationship with P&G, winning media assignments in Italy, Canada, Brazil, Spain and most recently expanding its remit in North America, as well as growing its digital and creative contracts too.

“Carat is a critical driver of Dentsu Aegis Network’s momentum in the US, and Doug’s vision, visibility and leadership in this market is integral to our and our clients’ success. With a growing roster of US-based global clients, as well as significant opportunities to pilot and scale industry-leading innovation from here, we are well-placed to continue our progress and deliver on our vision to lead in the digital economy,” said Dentsu Aegis Network US CEO Rob Horler.

Commenting on the announcement, Huijboom added, “Through Doug’s leadership, Carat has achieved unprecedented success and global recognition as the leading media network that is truly redefining media. With Doug concentrating on the buoyant US market and Will taking the helm globally, the talented team at Carat and its clients have all to benefit. Will’s client-centric approach and wealth of experience globally across Carat during the last 15 years made him the standout candidate following an extensive internal and external global search.”

Swayne said, “I am delighted to be taking on the role as Global President of Carat and leading the network through the next phase of its growth. Carat is the most dynamic and agile media agency network, with the best and most diverse talent in the industry. With a superior understanding of people, we are best placed to lead our clients in the digital economy and be a catalyst for their growth.”

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