LONDON — Grayling has refreshed its leadership structure, elevating UK & Europe chief executive Sarah Scholefield to the first global CEO role for five years, while UK & Europe chair Richard Jukes becomes the agency’s first global chairman.

Scholefield and Jukes moved up from UK leadership to their UK & Europe roles exactly a year ago. There has been no global CEO at Grayling since Pete Pederson departed in 2015 to lead communications at Sonos, after two years with the firm.

Grayling operates in 17 European markets – with nine offices in the UK – plus the US and AsiaPacific, with a total global headcount of around 450. Its offices in New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore now come under Scholefield and Jukes’ leadership 

In a statement, Grayling owner Huntsworth – which was acquired by a private equity firm in March this year for $400 million – said reinstating the worldwide leadership would allow the agency to integrate more between its offices, practices and shared services. It added: “the positive momentum set by Grayling in the UK & Europe under Scholefield and Jukes’ leadership and the addition of key talent creates a perfect springboard to extend this approach and success further afield.”

Neil Jones, chief executive of Constellation – Huntsworth’s communications division, which also includes Red Consultancy and Citigate Dewe Rogerson –  said: “Sarah and Richard have consistently proven their ability to drive significant growth, even in the most challenging of circumstances. That growth has been driven by an enhanced roster of services and people, and we are now seeing increased client opportunities as a result. By bringing Grayling worldwide under single leadership, it allows us to utilise our shared resources across all territories and service more global clients.”

Scholefield said: “Our collaborative approach between the UK & Europe has already paid dividends, and proved that when we work closely together, we are more successful and can drive even greater value to our clients. As we continue to evolve our Grayling proposition, we will work together under a shared culture and with a single creative and strategic approach, using our shared resource and momentum to the benefit of all our Grayling clients and staff worldwide.”

Other recent people moves at Grayling have included hiring Geraldine Schroeder as Germany CEO and Peter Murray as head of corporate affairs in London.

Global clients include dating app Badoo, which appointed the agency in April this year as its strategic communications agency of record, and travel tech company Amadeus.