Mike Wilson stands down as Havas Media chairman

Havas Media Group Australia and New Zealand chairman Mike Wilson is standing down at the end of this month.

Wilson was the founding CEO of Havas Media when it was launched locally in Australia in 2013. He will continue a relationship with the agency as a “consultant” moving forward.

Wilson was named chairman, in the newly created role in 2019. At the same time the company announced Matt Houltham will step into the CEO role of the group across Australia and New Zealand.

Houltham was in the role for just 12 months, before Virginia Hyland took over as CEO in November 2020, following the acquisition of the Hyland Agency, completed in August 2020. 

Mike Wilson is standing down from Havas Media Group

On his departure, Wilson said: “I am so proud to have played a role in establishing Havas Media as a major player in Australia and New Zealand. I leave behind a wonderfully supportive client-base, and a very talented, fun and inspirational agency team. I look forward to seeing Virginia take the business to more successes in the future – the agency is in great hands. I’ll be on hand to support in future initiatives, but the time is also right to commit to some exciting new projects.”

Havas Group ANZ chairman, Anthony Freedman, said: “I have been lucky to have known and worked closely with Mike for more than two decades. He is one of the smartest media minds around, but more than that, a true entrepreneur who has built successful businesses, including Naked Communications, before establishing Havas Media. He is a progressive agency leader who really gets both the art and science of modern marketing.”

Virginia Hyland, CEO Havas Media Group added: “I want to personally thank Mike for his incredible support over many years. Mike has been a wonderful mentor to me, our team and our valued clients. I have been very lucky and proud to work alongside such a great industry leader. Mike seamlessly on-boarded the Hyland Agency into the Havas Media agency. Happily, it is not goodbye and we will still work together on key initiatives. I do appreciate that Mike needs to spread his wings after what has been a very successful journey building and leading Havas Media for many years. Congratulations Mike for achieving so very much within the industry to date, in what has been an illustrious career.”

Originally from the UK, Wilson moved to Australia in 1997, working at WPP Media Agency MEC before co-founding Naked Communications in 2004 prior to launching Havas Media.

Havas Media ANZ clients including Kia, Destination NSW, TK Maxx, Gillette, IAG, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Avis Budget Group, SunRice and World Vision.


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