Bob Ray Joins MSQ as Executive Chairman of MSQ B2B and Stein IAS

We’re thrilled to announce the appointment of Bob Ray, Merkle B2B’s CEO of Agency Services, to lead our ambitious B2B growth strategy. 

Based in New York, Bob joins as Executive Chairman of global B2B agency Stein IAS, as well as MSQ B2B, our broader, multi-disciplinary offering. Bob assumes the responsibilities of Stein IAS’ CEO Rob Morrice, who will be standing down from the role over the coming months as he approaches retirement.

Bob will also work closely with MSQ’s Board in building our B2B division through organic growth – harnessing the collective B2B capabilities and expertise across our 11 agencies – and by acquisition; reporting to Executive Director Kate Howe.  

While at Merkle B2B, Bob helped grow revenue from $50m to $250m in four years and was responsible for a team of 1,200 worldwide, serving some massive client names including Cisco, JPMorgan and Amazon Web Services. He joined Merkle B2B following Merkle’s acquisition of DWA, which he helped grow from a 50-person to 200-person agency in two years as Global CEO.

In announcing the appointment, our CEO Peter Reid stated, “There’s tremendous energy in the B2B space and this will only grow going forward. There’s a commensurate opportunity right now for an agency and group to step forward and lead in this space. By fusing insight, research, creativity, media, technology and data – from brand to demand – Stein IAS and MSQ can make this aspiration a marketplace reality under Bob’s leadership, and can do so with speed.”

At Stein IAS, Bob will work closely with the current management team, including Chairman and Chief Brand Officer Tom Stein, who’ll continue to build the agency’s brand and presence, and Chief Client Officer Craig Duxbury, who leads client and commercial teams. Key Stein IAS clients include Juniper Networks, Deloitte and Lexmark.

Bob brings to Stein IAS and MSQ extensive expertise in scaling agency businesses, as well as a particular depth of knowledge across media, data, technology and operations. 

He commented: “I’ve watched Stein IAS and MSQ with interest and admiration over the years and like the trajectory the business is on, its operating model, the team and its ambitions. Stein IAS celebrates their 50th anniversary in 2023. There are not many, if any, B2B agencies that literally have paced the evolution of the category and that are better placed to seize the mantle of B2B agency leader. As part of MSQ B2B we have the full range of competencies to drive predictable performance for the largest brands in the world.”

Kate Howe commented: “It’s a real coup that we have attracted someone of Bob’s strategic and visionary calibre. We have one of the premier B2B agency brands in Stein IAS and a significant B2B offering across the Group. It’s a strong platform to build on and one we intend to invest in it. Bob is the ideal candidate to help us realize our growth ambitions.”     

Stein IAS’s retiring CEO Rob Morrice, said: “It’s been a real honor to work with such a talented team at Stein IAS and around the Group. While I can’t quite believe the time has nearly come to hang up my boots, I’m proud of what we’ve achieved and of leaving the agency prepared and poised for its next chapter. Bob is the right person to take us to this next stage and I wish him all the best in his new role.”

Reid added: “Rob has made a massive contribution to the Group over his 30-odd years with the business. I would like to personally thank him for all he has done and wish him a long and happy retirement.”