David Jones, global chief executive officer of Havas, the sixth largest global advertising group, will be leaving the company to launch his own tech start-up. He is replaced by Yannick Bolloré, who is the son of the group’s biggest shareholder Vincent Bolloré.
David leaves the Group with immediate effect but will be retained as advisor to the Havas chairman and CEO throughout 2014.
Meanwhile, Andrew Benett, co-president Havas Worldwide, has been promoted to CEO of the advertising network and will report to Yannick.
Yannick was quoted in the press release saying: ‘It’s a very exciting time for Havas. We are well on our way to realizing our goal of being the most integrated and innovative communications group of our industry.’
David added: ‘If I were going to stay in the industry it would be at Havas, but I have always had a burning desire to be an entrepreneur and this is too exciting an opportunity to not seize. Those people who know me know my two passions in business are social media and social responsibility and this new venture combines the two.
I want to thank the Bolloré Group and Vincent Bolloré in particular for his support and mentorship over the last eight years and wish Yannick every success.’
The leadership changes at the organisation has led to speculation among media and ad professionals on the possibility of Havas prepping itself for a merger and acquisition. This comes in light of the threat posed by the impending merger of Publicis Groupe with Omnicom that will make the world’s largest advertising group and throw rivals off.