PHD appoints Ray to head new Unilever planning unit

Toby Roberts (l) and Robert Ray: will oversee the 40-strong operation
Toby Roberts (l) and Robert Ray: will oversee the 40-strong operation

PHD has hired the former Starcom MediaVest Group director Robert Ray to head a new 40-strong unit that will oversee Unilever's global communications planning.

Ray, most recently the marketing director at the Newspaper Society, becomes the managing director of the Unilever Global Strategy Unit. Before the NS, where he spent seven years, Ray was the managing director of the Procter & Gamble global business unit, EMEA, at SMG.

Toby Roberts, the head of strategy and managing partner at PHD’s sister agency OMD, moves to work alongside Ray as the global head of strategy for Unilever brands in the foods, refreshments and home-care categories.

Guy Cousins, the managing partner at Naked Communications in New Zealand, will join the unit as the global head of strategy for Unilever’s personal-care brands.

Ray, Roberts and Cousins will work closely with Mark Holden, PHD’s worldwide strategy and planning director. All three will be based in a new office in the media agency’s London headquarters. Ray and Roberts start immediately, while Cousins begins in February.

Arena Media’s Rohan Tambyrajah, a 2012 Campaign Face to Watch, joins the unit in the role of innovation director. Seth Ball, also most recently at Arena as its insight director, has been hired as the head of business planning.

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