Havas Is Shaking Up Its North American Leadership as Part of a New Regional Strategy Worldwide

American CCO is out, as 2 U.S. execs are named co-chairmen

Global agency network Havas is restructuring its operations worldwide to be more region-focused, with North America seeing several leadership shifts in the process.

Chief creative officer of the Americas Toygar Bazarkaya is no longer with Havas, as of today.

“Toygar Bazarkaya, Chief Creative Officer of the Americas, is leaving Havas,” the company said in a statement. “We would like to thank Toygar for his leadership over the last year and a half, as well as for the significant contributions he has brought to our agency and our clients. Toygar has been a valuable partner and trusted colleague to many of us at Havas.”

Oversight of the New York creative team, formerly led by Bazarkaya, will shift to Jason Peterson, creative chairman of Havas U.S. He will lead the search for a New York chief creative officer, the agency said.

Peterson and Havas Chicago CEO Paul Marobella will now lead the Havas Creative U.S. network—which also includes the New York and Boston offices of Arnold—as co-chairmen while retaining their positions within the Chicago operation.

Arnold global CEO Pam Hamlin and Havas New York CEO Laura Maness will both report directly to Marobella while each office’s chief creative officer reports to Peterson.

Chairman and CEO Yannick Bolloré will retain the creative CEO role that he assumed in January.

Global chief marketing officer Matt Weiss and global chief content officer Vin Farrell both recently left the organization, and Havas does not plan to replace them as it moves away from worldwide roles in favor of regional leadership.

The latest developments, which come less than two months after global creative CEO and 13-year veteran Andrew Benett left the organization abruptly, would appear to signal a new stage in the Bolloré family’s efforts to streamline the organization it owns. The key aim is to make the entire global network more “client-centric” and minimize the dreaded silos by centralizing management teams by region. North America was the last such area to undergo these changes.

The news also follows a press briefing yesterday that coincided with the opening of a new Havas Village in London. At that event, Bolloré told journalists that the creative and media sides of the global network would no longer exist as separate divisions but unite under one P&L on a regional basis, much like the respective C-suites.

Moving forward, the management of Havas’s four largest markets will be handled by chairmen including European group CEO Chris Hirst in the U.K., Havas Media global CEO Alfonso Rodés Vilà in Spain, and Bolloré himself in both France and the United States. Havas Creative Group CEO Mike Amour and Havas Media Group Latin America chief executive Jorge Percovich will lead all offices in their regions.

Bolloré said that this new orientation will better enable Havas to leverage its talent and resources for clients in each respective region. According to the chief executive, it is a more effective encapsulation of the #BetterTogether approach that helped make Havas Adweek’s U.S. Media Agency of the Year.

According to a March 1 review, the Havas network’s total organic global revenue for 2016 grew at a rate of just over 3 percent. That number, however, was considerably lower than the 17.3 percent rate reported for 2015.

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