Red Havas CEO Sarah Trombetta departs

CEO of Red Havas, Sarah Trombetta, is leaving the business after two years at the helm, effective immediately.

As the search for her replacement begins, Anthony Freedman, Havas Group ANZ chairman, will take on CEO duties and Steve Fontanot, the leader of Havas Blvd, has been appointed to the newly-created role of Red Havas’ managing director.

Trombetta is leaving Red Havas after two years

Trombetta was appointed in February 2019, succeeding James Wright, who took on the role of global CEO of the PR agency.

During her tenure, the agency rebranded from its former moniker Red Agency to Red Havas, in a move that saw Havas Group’s PR agencies across the world come into alignment, and the exporting of the Australian agency’s integrated model of social, PR, brand experience, and content production to the international offices.

Trombetta has also been responsible for nurturing the business’ strategic capabilities, drawing in clients such as Nestlé Australia’s confectionary portfolio, Hydralyte, Revlon Professional and American Crew.

In a statement, Trombetta thanked the wider Havas Village leadership for its support over the last two years.

“I would like to thank all the incredible people and partners who made it possible to achieve so much together in my years at Red Havas. The future is bright for this talented team and I wish them all continued success,” she said.

Freedman said he was confident in the success of the agency and thanked Trombetta for her leadership.

“I want to thank Sarah for her contribution to Red Havas and the Havas Village more widely,” he said.

“Red Havas is in a very strong position as a business with an exceptional leadership team and amazing client partners. I am confident that this momentum will continue as the agency’s next chapter begins.”

Fontanot moves into the newly created role of managing director of Red Havas

Fontanot has been with the group since 2016, starting out as general manager of Havas’ brand experience before stepping up to lead Havas Blvd, the brand experience and production arm, a year later.

He said in a statement he was ‘humbled’ by the new role.

“Over the past four-and-a-half years, I’ve been proud to be part of a business that has continued to grow and innovate, delivering some exceptional work for our client partners and to challenge the status quo in the industry,” Fontanot said.

“I’m humbled to take this new role but excited about the opportunities ahead. I’m committed to continuing to create work that our client partners and team are proud of. I’m also focused on supporting our team and helping them be a part of something special.”

In November 2019, Red Havas Sydney experienced a shake-up in its leadership team, with executive director Jackie Crossman announcing her departure due for the end of that year, and a board of directors formed by Freedman, Reema Babakhan, Grant Richmond-Coggan ,Sue Cook and Symon Madry.

Richmond-Coggan left the agency in early 2020, and Madry moved on to McKinsey & Company at the start of this year.


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