Grey names David Patton as new CEO

Sony marketer moves agency-side with brief to boost Grey's pitch performance.

The Sony marketer David Patton is to take his seat as the Grey UK Group chief executive on 3 September.

He signed the contract last week and replaces Tamara Ingram, who vacated the role in January to become the head of WPP's global Procter & Gamble business.

Patton, who Campaign last week revealed was in contention for the chief executive roles at Grey and Saatchi & Saatchi, will oversee both the main agency, with billings of £160 million, and Joshua G2.

The thrust of Patton's brief will be to expand the business, with a major focus on improving its new-business performance following the recent losses of AOL and Nokia. Another challenge will be to evaluate the senior teams in place at the agency and decide if changes need to be made.

However, Carolyn Carter, the chief executive and president of Grey EMEA, dismissed speculation that Dave Alberts, the executive creative director and chairman, was being replaced. She said: "David remains our chief creative. There is no plan in the immediate future to replace any individuals. David Patton will have to make evaluations when he joins."

Patton has spent his entire career on the client side at gaming companies, but Carter believes his client-side perspective, creative sensitivity and leadership qualities make him ideal for the job.

She said: "He will need to quickly overcome the barrier between client and agency as he moves from buyer to seller. But he knows this and he is a quick learner. His previous experience gives a wealth of knowledge on handling it from the other side. We're more than happy to teach him the P&L side of the business."

- Perspective, page 19.