Havas Worldwide Shuffles Top Management in New York | Adweek Havas Worldwide Shuffles Top Management in New York | Adweek
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Havas Worldwide Shuffles the Deck in New York

Global president assumes CEO role—for now

Andrew Benett

Five months into his new job as worldwide president of Havas Worldwide, Andrew Benett is taking on the agency's New York office.

Benett, although a global leader, is assuming the role of CEO of New York—at least for the time being. In that capacity, he is returning to a job he had before shifting to sister shop Arnold as global CEO. Back then, though, Havas was known as Euro RSCG.

Benett declined to discuss his most recent move but outlined his plans today in an internal email to his staff. In addition to Benett taking the reins in New York, office co-chairman Matt Ryan is leaving and three other leaders are assuming broader roles.

Alex Bombeck and Jason Jercinovic, global co-presidents of digital, are adding the respective titles of chief digital officer for New York and head of social media for North America, according to the email. In addition, Marty Susz, managing director of Havas specialty unit Tonic, is taking on the new role of director of client management for New York.

The moves come in the wake of the New York office failing to convert on several new business opportunities. For example, the office reached the finals of reviews for Vonage and Sleepy's, but lost to JWT and Publicis Kaplan Thaler, respectively. Collectively, those brands spend more than $225 million in media annually.

That said, on Ryan's watch the agency did win pitches for New York Life and Atlantic City Tourism. The shop also scored a creative project from Live Nation.

At the same time, though, existing clients shifted business elsewhere, including ExxonMobil (after a global review) and Charles Schwab. Havas lost its lead agency role on Schwab to Crispin Porter + Bogusky, but kept creative responsibilities for the company's Active Trader and optionsXpress offerings.

Ryan, who also was president of global brands, will leave the agency by September, the email noted. He joined the agency in 2008.

New York's other chairman, Lee Garfinkel, remains at the shop. Garfinkel also has a worldwide role: chief creative officer for global brands.

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