Grey names Annalisa Roy and Asad Shaykh as joint heads of strategy

Grey Annalisa Roy, Asad Shaykh, Raquel Chicourel - mediashotz

Annalisa Roy and Asad Shaykh have joined Grey’s planning department as Joint Heads of Strategy, heralding the culmination of a strategic repositioning of the agency’s strategy offering.

Roy (left, main pic), who until recently was working as an advertising strategy consultant, is former Global Brand Strategy Director of Publicis, and previously Head of Content Strategy at AMV BBDO.

Annalisa Roy 

At AMV, she led innovation across several high-profile brands including Braun (P&G), BT, Eurostar, Mercedes Benz, and Foot Locker. 

At Publicis, she led the global strategy on SCA and worked closely with the ECD on creative development across the whole agency.

She also worked at BBH as a consultant on a series of innovation projects involving a space launch for Samsung and the development of entirely recyclable paper bottles for Absolut Vodka.

Asad Shaykh

Shaykh (centre, main pic), most recently Grey Social’s Digital Strategy Director, has previously held various head of strategy roles and is also both Director of Marketing and Communications and Head of Brand for Pride London – voluntary roles he will continue.

Across a career spanning more than two decades, he has worked in UK, US and EU on brand challenges ranging from crafting a bespoke IOT strategy for Vodafone Enterprise to launching Coca-Cola’s most successful market entrant across social in 2018.

He has also worked on developing brands including ACCA, AVIVA, Coca-Cola, Dreams, Sky, Swarovski, Vodafone and HSBC.

Roy and Shaykh were appointed by Chief Strategic Officer Raquel Chicourel (right, main pic), who both will now report into.

Their appointments mark the culmination of a hiring spree by Chicourel in recent months which has also included Strategy Director Ed Hayne from Saatchi & Saatchi; Strategy Director Bia Bonani from Saatchi & Saatchi; Strategy Director Hugo Cain from M&C Saatchi; Strategist Polly Goodman from Saatchi & Saatchi; Strategist Milan Zum Hebel from Havas London; and Digital Strategist Josh Hood.

Chicourel’s vision is for a London-based super strategy squad unrivalled in its diversity of thought, excellence in creating fame and effectiveness stories, and generosity of thinking.

She said: “The strategy squad at Grey is pretty different. We have been quietly building a team with some of the most beautiful different minds in London. 

“Weird and wonderful, Oxbridge and BTEC, brand and digital. I’m proud that no two Grey strategists are the same. 

“The logic behind this is simple. If you keep hiring the same kind of people you’ll keep getting the same kind of thinking. That’s why diversity lives through every level of our squad.”

“I’m Brazilian, our heads of strategy are from Pakistan and Italy and some of our new hires are English. 

“Some of us have university degrees, some don’t. Some come from brand and consultancy, others from digital and content. 

“Some do photography and rugby whilst others are sneakerheads, write novels, knit and sketch anime in their spare time. 

“This is how we hire and how we nurture our thinkers. If you want to make famous work that matters to real people in the real world, you need a hit of difference.”

Roy said: “When Raquel shared her vision with me, I knew that building and nurturing the department of strategy at Grey would be an amazing opportunity. 

“When she told me Asad would be my partner, I realised it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Shaykh added: “I am tremendously proud to help form a strategy department that is truly diverse and celebrates differences – of both background and opinion. It shows in who we are and it will show in what we do.”