Havas Media Group names Mike Wilson as chairman and Matt Houltham as CEO

Havas Media Group has appointed founding CEO Mike Wilson as its chairman, a newly created role which will see him maintain involvement with key clients and explore targeted M&A opportunities.

The company has also announced Matt Houltham will step into the CEO role of the Group across Australia and New Zealand. Houltham is currently group managing director of Havas Melbourne.

Havas’ Mike Wilson

Wilson, who co-founded Havas Media in November 2013, will assume the newly-created role with a focus on furthering the Group’s growth in 2020. As well as exploring mergers and acquisitions, he will also maintain and develop key partnerships and explore further integration opportunities with Vivendi group companies including Universal Music Group, Studio Canal, Gamelift and Daily Motion.

Wilson was also a co-founder of Naked Communications Australia – one of Australia’s most controversial and respect agencies.

Wilson said: ”I’m extremely happy to be able support Matt in his deserved elevation to CEO of the Havas Media Group. Additionally, the Vivendi group of companies provides opportunities for our clients, our agency brands and our people that are unrivalled in the market. I am really excited to be in a position to help unlock these partnerships in earnest for the first time.”

Houltham joined Havas in January 2016, after five years as managing director at Naked, initially in Melbourne and latterly in New York. Prior to this, he spent five years as digital partner across Publicis agencies, Zenith Optimedia and Mojo.

His role at Havas has seen him transform the Melbourne operation, with wins including Puma, PZ Cussons, Saputo and SBS, while also launching the media offering, which now counts blue chip clients including World Vision, Momentum Energy and Michelin among its clients.


Houltham will lead a team of more than 100 people across Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, as well as Havas Sport and Entertainment, overseeing its services across strategy, media planning and investment, performance marketing, content development, data consultancy and brand partnerships. He will also have a continuing role overseeing Havas Melbourne.

Houltham said: “I’m thrilled to be expanding my remit to work closer with Mike and the brilliant Havas Media Group team in Sydney and New Zealand and look forward to deploying our new Meaningful Media Experience (Mx) process and leveraging the Village model to help our clients grow in 2020.”

Havas Group Australia and New Zealand chairman Anthony Freedman congratulated both men on the new roles.

“Matt has a rare blend of experience across media, creative, digital and research businesses, in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and US. He is the perfect person to lead the charge in ensuring Havas Media remains the most progressive media group in the market,” said Freedman.

“Mike has done an outstanding job building a business from scratch, to become a team of 100 people, and in his new role, will be able to consider the partnerships we need to continue to grow, as well as how best to capitalise on the opportunities we have as part of Vivendi.”


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