Havas CEO Anthony Gregorio steps down as Host and Havas merge

Havas Group is merging two of its advertising agencies Havas and Host to create Host/Havas.

The merger will see Havas’ CEO, Anthony Gregorio leave the agency after 15 years.

Gregorio is departing the Havas Group after 15 years

“I’m very proud of the businesses I have helped to build during my 15 years with the Havas Group in Australia. In particular over the last five years, Havas has become well known for its integrated approach to brand building across creative, PR and media.

“Host/Havas will be an exciting new proposition for the Group in Australia, but I feel this is the perfect opportunity to draw a line under my Havas adventure and look for new opportunities after a well-earned break. I wish Anthony, Laura, Dan and the rest of the Host/Havas team and the wider Havas Village, the very best,” Gregorio said.

During his time with the Havas Group, Gregorio worked across Havas Worldwide Australia, Arnold Furnace, The Red Agency and Havas People.

The new agency Host/Havas will be led by the current Host CEO Laura Aldington, who will now hold the title of CEO Host/Havas.

Havas Sydney’s managing director Dan Smith, will become the MD of Host/Havas while the remainder of the new agency’s management team will include all the senior personnel from both agencies.

The merger between Havas and Host will not have any direct affect to the other divisions of the Havas Group.

Dan Smith, Laura Aldington, Anthony Freedman

The founder of the creative agency Host, Anthony Freedman, was appointed as the chairman of Havas Group Australia and New Zealand in June.

At the time of his appointment, Freedman said: “We have ambition for significant growth fuelled by closer collaboration between our agencies, allowing us to leverage the true scale of the group in Australia and New Zealand”.

Freedman said in a statement: “Host/Havas will be one of the largest agencies in Sydney, where cut-through creativity meets state-of-the-art marketing science. It will blend network scale with start-up spirit and is another important step in our successful Better Together global strategy.”

In May, media giant Vivendi purchased a majority stake in Havas, which saw the departure of executive creative director at Havas, Stu Turner, for a role as the ECD role at DDB.

Replacing Stu Turner at Havas was DDB’s Ant Melder who is now the joint executive creative director, working alongside Seamus Higgins.


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