Havas Media Names Its First Global Chief Operating Officer

Peter Mears comes from Initiative

He previously held global roles at UM and Omnicom's PHD.
Havas Group

Havas Group has hired longtime agency veteran Peter Mears to oversee its global network of media agencies in the newly created role of chief operating officer.

He will now oversee the operations of all Havas media offices around the world, supporting local leadership and contributing to both client strategy and new business efforts. Mears reports to Havas Media global CEO Alfonso Rodés and plans to work closely with Havas Group chief executive Yannick Bolloré on the network’s ongoing integration efforts.

The move marks the latest in a string of changes as Havas shifts toward a more regionally oriented service model for clients around the world. Last month, Bolloré announced that the media and creative sides of the business would operate under one P&L with each organized by region. He also named several new chairmen to lead these divisions and reshuffled Havas’ North American leadership, promoting U.S. creative chairman Jason Peterson and Havas Chicago CEO Paul Marobella to co-leads of the Havas Creative U.S. network, which also includes the New York and Boston offices of Arnold.

“Our goal is to be the absolute best at serving clients through creative excellence and smart media accountability,” Bolloré said in a statement. “This requires an organization that is best-in-class at agility and efficiency. Peter’s 20 years of experience as a global business leader and his strong collaborative nature result in a leadership style rooted in modern marketing know-how—the perfect leader to further accelerate our Together Strategy.”

Mears has spent more than 20 years in the media agency world, holding leadership positions at PHD (where he led all global accounts), UM and IPG Mediabrands Canada. He most recently spent four years at IPG’s Initiative in New York, moving from president to global COO.

“As Havas continues to build out their integrated model, I’m excited to join the group and reinforce the organizational structure that’s already in place,” Mears said. “I’m impressed with the strides that the teams around the world have made so far and can’t wait to further develop our truly differentiated approach for clients.”

Adweek named Havas its U.S. Media Agency of the Year thanks to a series of midsize account wins, the work of Havas Media North America CEO Colin Kinsella and the success of integrated campaigns like a collaboration between the National Association of Realtors and ABC’s Modern Family.