Dentsu Aegis Network US has announced Doug Ray as its first president of product and innovation, with Michael Epstein promoted to Ray’s previous role of Carat US chief executive.
The newly created role will see Ray drive the group’s product agenda, while also leading the development of integrated, tailored client solutions, with a particular focus on data.
“Innovation is more critical today than ever before,” said Ray. “It is the only path to transformational growth and this is why we’ve made it central to Carat’s and our clients’ business agendas.
“I’m energised by the opportunity to now leverage the unique assets of our entire network to create further competitive advantage for our clients and, in turn, for Dentsu Aegis Network.”
Epstein joined the agency in 2013 and has been responsible for US based client leadership in his most recent role as Carat’s president and chief client officer, as well as playing an active role in new business in his previous chief strategy officer position.
“The role of media to drive change and transformation for businesses has never been greater than it is today,” commented Epstein. “With our investments and expertise in people-based planning and data-driven marketing communications, Carat is well-placed to help clients navigate today’s digital economy.
“Having partnered with Doug to shape Carat’s proposition and redefine the value media can deliver for our clients, I’m excited for this next chapter for both Carat and Dentsu Aegis, and look forward to driving continued strong performance on behalf of our clients.”
In the last six years under Ray and Epstein’s leadership, Carat has more than doubled agency revenue, winning clients including Danone, Diageo, GM, Macy’s, Mondelez and Procter & Gamble.
“Our US business has doubled in size in the last 18 months through a combination of new business, organic growth and strategic M&A,” said Dentsu Aegis Network US chief executive Rob Horler.
“At the same time, clients are increasingly looking to us to make a complex marketing ecosystem more simple, and for holistic product and thought leadership to help them get the most out of their data, assets, content, and partnerships.
“With new assets and expanded capabilities across the group, we now have an even greater opportunity to bring these to bear in service of even stronger and more sophisticated client solutions.
“Having Doug in a group role, focused on client solutions and leading product and innovation drawn from an even broader cross-section of our businesses, ensures we have the right strategic leadership in place to work with clients to manage the complexity and deliver truly leading-edge, integrated solutions.”