Grey Group shakes up Japan leadership as Yumi Shibuya steps down as CEO after 8 years

The chief executive officer of Grey Group Japan has stepped down after almost a decade.

Yumi Shibuya

Grey veteran Yumi Shibuya has led the agency’s operations in Japan since 2009, after she was promoted from managing director to replace the outgoing Chris Beaumont. She will now move into the role of non-executive chairman.

Shibuya first joined Grey as an account director in 1993 and worked on the P&G account. Promoted first to account director, she subsequently moved up the ranks to become agency MD and later Grey’s first female CEO/president in its then-46 years of operation. 

Taking over her role as CEO will be Yukiko Ochiai, who has been the agency’s chief operating officer since July 2015. She was promoted to deputy CEO earlier this year. 

Yukiko Ochiai

Shibuya said: “It has been an amazing journey of 24 years at Grey. My team has been nothing short of supportive and extraordinarily talented. In addition, we have made great strides forward as a cohesive unit. I look forward to continuing to do our very best for our clients. Famously effective, always.”

Nirvik Singh, chairman and CEO, Grey Group Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, added: “Yumi has been a well-respected leader and done an outstanding job in steering Grey to a leading market position during her tenure as president and CEO. Yukiko has been an integral member of the Japan leadership team and we know she will continue with her success in her new role.

“Passionate about infusing the agency with fresh talent, and building a culture that is honest, collaborative, and people-first, her mantra of ‘be loved by our client’ will hold us in good stead for the future.”


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