WPP is retiring the Grey Global shop, which bills itself as “famously effective since 1917,” as CEO Mark Read continues the revamp of the ad/PR giant.

Grey is being teamed with digital shop AKQA to form the AKQA Group with 6,000 staffers in more than 50 countries.

Ajaz Ahmed, AKQA founder, will helm the new combine. Grey CEO Michael Houston will take the president/COO position.

The AKQA Group will launch with both brands intact though they will be eventually be integrated into a single brand.

The consolidation, according to Read, meets client demand for creativity and technology on a global scale. “This new company is designed precisely to meet those needs and is another important step forward in building our future-facing offer for clients,” said Read.

He already has combined WPP shops to create Wunderman Thompson, VMLY&R and BCW.