WPP CEO Mark Read honors Edward Meyer

Edward H Meyer was a hugely important figure who not only transformed Grey into a global powerhouse but helped to shape the modern advertising industry as we know it. This week we learned the sad news that Ed had passed away at the age of 96, and I wanted to recognise the immense contribution he made to our company.

Ed was Chairman and CEO of Grey for 35 years, from 1970 until 2005, when the agency joined WPP. During that time he built Grey into a major international communications group while retaining the competitive, independent spirit that first attracted so many clients and so much talent to the firm.

Under Ed’s leadership Grey had created iconic campaigns for many of the world’s leading brands, and it was an honour to have an agency of Grey’s stature become part of WPP. Ed cared deeply about Grey’s future, and remained with us until the end of 2006 to ensure a smooth transition to his chosen successor, Jim Heekin.

Ed joined Grey in 1956 as an account supervisor on the agency’s first ever piece of work for P&G, and Grey’s relationship with P&G is one that Ed nurtured personally over decades. Former P&G Chairman and CEO Ed Artzt, who worked with Ed for nearly 40 years, described him as “a true partner”.

The partnership Grey and WPP still enjoy with P&G today is one of the many ways in which we all continue to benefit from Ed’s pioneering and inspirational leadership. Grey was Ed’s lifetime work and we are proud to see his legacy continue to this day.

Our condolences go to Ed’s family and friends. Grey is working with the family on a fitting tribute to celebrate his extraordinary life and career, and in the meantime you can read more about Ed in his obituary in the Wall Street Journal.