Tor Myhren, Grey Worldwide chief creative officer and New York president, is leaving the WPP agency for Apple, where he has been named VP marketing communications. He’ll start his new job early next year.
Myhren will report to CEO Tim Cook and will be replacing Hiroki Asai, who previously announced his plans to retire after 18 years overseeing graphic design and marketing communications at the company.
Myhren is credited by many with reigniting Grey’s creative mojo, with ads featuring the E*Trade Baby, the series of DirecTV ads with Rob Lowe (and various other cable-subscribing Rob Lowes) and other work. The agency won Agency of the Year honors from Adweek for both 2013 and 2015 and from Advertising Age in 2014.
In a memo to staffers, Grey Group CEO Jim Heekin stated: “After a spectacular run at Grey, Tor wants to try his hand on the client side for this iconic tech company that has changed our culture and how we communicate.”
Heekin added: “As the head of the Grey Global Creative Council, Tor has made a monumental contribution to our success, enhancing our creative product, talent and profile around the world. Today, we have a deep bench of accomplished creative leaders in place across the world to fuel our continued momentum.”
Given that bench strength, a Grey rep said there were no immediate plans to replace Myhren.
Apple also indicated that Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing, will expand his role to include leadership of the App Store across all Apple platforms. It was Schiller who put Apple and its ad agency TBWA/Media Arts Lab in the headlines last year after a series of email exchanges became public. In them, Schiller was highly critical of the agency’s work particularly as compared to the work being done for rival Samsung.
Apple also announced today that Jeff Williams has been named COO and Johny Srouji is joining Apple’s executive team as SVP for hardware technologies.