LONDON — Chris McCafferty, group CEO of MSL London and sustainability consultancy Salterbaxter, is leaving the firm, with former BCW London CEO Rebecca Grant succeeding him as chief executive of Publicis’ UK Influence practice.

In the new role, Grant (pictured, right) will head up MSL, Taylor Herring and Salterbaxter, and will also have an expanded remit as EMEA chief client officer for the French-owned holding group’s influence practice.

McCafferty has decided to step down from his role after more than four years to pursue a new challenge. He told PRovoke Media: “Genuinely the thing I’m most proud of is the inclusive way we’ve created growth and taken people-first decisions since we took on that business, and we’ve tried to make it as inclusive and happy a place to work as possible. We completely transformed both the commercial performance and the people performance, and it’s lovely to see the industry react with such generosity and intrigue as to what might come next."

As CEO of Publicis Groupe UK’s influence practice, Grant will oversee growth plans for the existing agencies, working with agency leaders and other members of the Publicis Groupe UK executive committee. Her chief client officer responsibilities will focus on identifying new opportunities to generate value for multi-market clients.  Grant will report to Demet Ikiler, CEO of Publicis Groupe EMEA.

Grant joins after 13 years with BCW, where she was CEO for BCW UK and global chief brand officer. She was appointed as the agency’s first CEO in 2018 after overseeing the merger of Cohn & Wolfe and Burson-Marsteller in the UK.

Previously, Grant was previously UK MD and head of consumer marketing, EMEA for Cohn & Wolfe. Before she joined Cohn & Wolfe in 2011, Grant was senior director and co-head of consumer for Europe at Weber Shandwick. Before that, she was at the Red Consultancy after starting her career at MSL.

Grant's direct reports include Jo Grierson, managing director of MSL, James Herring and Cath Taylor, co-founders of Taylor Herring, and Steve Lindsay, managing director of Salterbaxter.

Publicis Groupe EMEA CEO Demet Ikiler (pictured, left) said: “Rebecca is an inspiring leader with an exceptional track record of innovative work, successful collaboration and stellar growth. After two decades working with a broad spectrum of clients across a range of sectors and geographies, she’s perfectly placed to lead and grow our Influence practice in the UK, and scale solutions for clients across EMEA working with our agency leaders in the region. I look forward to working with her and watching her accelerate growth for MSL, Taylor Herring and Salterbaxter. I wish Chris all the best in his next endeavour.”

Grant added: “Joining Publicis Groupe UK at a time of unprecedented growth and industry leading innovation around AI and data intelligence is an exciting prospect. I look forward to building on the success of the strong and established agency portfolio to realise a new chapter of growth at a time when the role of influence has never been more critical to brand and business success.”