American Creative Chief, Global CMO Out at Havas as Agency Moves Toward Regional Leadership

By Patrick Coffee 

Havas is shaking things up around the world.

This week, the independent network made several key changes to its global structure in a still-developing move designed to create a series of full-service divisions arranged by region. The news first ran in Adweek on Friday.

As part of the shift, chief creative officer of the Americas Toygar Bazarkaya was fired. The agency statement:


“Toygar Bazarkaya, Chief Creative Officer of the Americas, is leaving Havas. 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.”

Havas Chicago CEO Paul Marobella and CCO Jason Peterson (who was promoted to president in 2013) will now be co-chairs of the U.S. Creative division while also retaining their positions within the Chicago operation. As of next week, creative leads in all North American offices of Havas and Arnold report directly to Peterson with Havas New York CEO Laura Maness and Arnold global CEO Pam Hamlin reporting to Marobella.

Instagram master Peterson will also oversee the search for Bazarkaya’s successor.

The news comes a few weeks after 13-year veteran Andrew Benett stepped down as global CEO of Havas Creative with chairman/CEO Yannick Bolloré assuming the role.

New York-based global CMO Matt Weiss and global chief content officer Vin Farrell also recently left in what we hear was an unrelated move. Their positions will not be filled because Bolloré has chosen to restructure the entire network around a group of newly named regional chairmen, thereby rendering such global roles less relevant. As the CEO explained in a small Thursday press briefing announcing the launch of a new Havas Village in London, “we believe we need to transcend traditional definitions of creative and media to better deliver for our clients.”

This means putting the creative and media sides of each region under one P&L and handing more power to the chairmen: European group CEO Chris Hirst in the U.K.; Havas Media global CEO Alfonso Rodés Vilà in Spain; Bolloré himself in the U.S. and France; Havas Creative Group CEO Mike Amour in APAC; and Jorge Percovich in Latin America. The U.S. reorg was the last in this group to be announced.

The rearrangement also sees former Havas Media global MD and Vivendi president Dominique Delport named global managing director and chief client officer for the entire Havas Group, overseeing “global clients relationships, marketing initiatives and New Business.”

According to the press release from London, Bolloré’s goal is to develop a more “client-centric and region-based organization” in order to “ensure agility and a seamless experience for clients.” It all sounds a lot like Havas’s own take on recent pivots by its larger competitors.

Expect more such changes to come.