Levi Slavin fills vacant chief creative officer role at Howatson + Company

Levi Slavin has been appointed chief creative officer at agency start up Howatson + Company, taking on the role founding partner Ant White left last month.

Slavin, who left Colenso BBDO less than two weeks ago, was central to Colenso BBDO’s award winning team, spearheaded alongside creative chairman Nick Worthington and managing director Scott Coldham who also left the agency earlier this year.

He will join the agency in January, returning to his native Australia. It is yet to be confirmed if Slavin will run the agency’s Melbourne operations, as White did previously.


Levi Slavin

On the appointment, CEO and founder Chris Howatson said: “Levi is a wonderful human being first, brilliant creative second. He is renowned for his empathy, his commitment to developing his teams and building deep relationships with his clients. I’ve known Levi for many years – both of us having long tenures at Clemenger Group – and the opportunity to partner with him in building H+Co is a career highlight.”

Slavin added: “I am beyond thrilled to finally have the opportunity to work with Chris. He is an absolute force of nature. Chris’ vision for the agency is extraordinary. It’s the only model I’ve come across that will keep up with culture, the needs of brands, and return some humanity to our industry. I can’t wait to return home to Australia and get started.”

Slavin recently joined a long list of senior talent to have left Clemenger Group the past two years, a group which has included Howatson, Slavin’s predecessor White, Scott Coldham, Gayle WhileEvan Roberts, Ben Coulson, Stephen de Wolf (who last week joined DDB Sydney) with James McGrath also recently moving to part-time.

CEO Chris Howatson

On the recent exodus from the group, former CEO of Clemenger BBDO Melbourne Nick Garrett told Mumbrella that “there can’t be another holding group locally that has “had a generation’s worth of talent: Chris Howatson, Scott Coldham, Levi Slavin, Ant White, and others, leave in two years and find it easy”.

Colenso BBDO executive creative director Dan Wright and executive business director Ahmad Salim also left the agency last week to join former boss Garrett at Deloitte Digital, after he was announced as partner just the week prior.

Slavin left Colenso in 2014, moving to New York to work at BBDO, also working as global creative director at Anomaly, before re-joining the Aukland agency in 2017. Slavin’s work has won awards including 15 Grand Prix, 35 Cannes Lions, 20 D&AD Pencils and New Zealand’s first Black Pencil at D&AD.

Following founding partner, White’s departure last month, in an interview with Mumbrella, Howatson revealed it “was a bit of a shock” and that the agency went through a transition period, but that clients had been supportive and the staff now know exactly what is ahead.

The agency also confirmed it would continue to operate one model with offices in both Sydney and Melbourne and will continue to service current clients including Belong, Allianz and Maurice Blackburn.

Colenso BBDO was named Cannes Agency of the Decade for the region.


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