Red Havas changes leadership structure as Jackie Crossman steps down

Red Havas Sydney’s executive director, Jackie Crossman, will step down from her role at the end of the year.

Crossman’s departure will see a change in the agency’s Sydney leadership structure, with a board of directors formed by its five practice leads Adam Freedman, Symon Madry, Reema Babakhan, Sue Cook and Grant Richmond-Coggan.

Crossman will step down from her role as executive director at Red Havas after four years

Crossman said in a statement that she was proud of the success the agency had achieved in her four years and wished the team well for the future.

“I’m proud to have worked with awesome people who have achieved an immense amount of success. We have been working towards this milestone for some time so it feels great to see the leadership team in such great shape to continue our success story. I’m delighted to move on to my next chapter with full confidence in the team kicking plenty of goals and delivering amazing work for clients for years to come,” Crossman said.

According to the agency, Crossman will be taking “time to pursue her passion for travel”, but will act as a consultant for Red Havas Group in 2020 as she leads a global talent initiative to upskill teams across Red Havas’ international network.

Crossman has been with Red Havas since 2015, when the agency acquired her PR practice, Crossman Communications.

During her Tenure at Red, Crossman led the implementation of a staff training program to support the development of talent throughout the business, and initiatives to support parents in the agency, improve diversity, and address work/life balance amongst employees.

Crossman also oversaw successful campaigns for Destination NSW and Vivid Sydney, the award-winning campaign for Australian Macadamias, and the ‘Little People, Big Lives’ campaign for Sanitarium.

In May it was announced that Red Agency would rebrand to Red Havas, as the local model of integrated social, PR, brand experience and content production was set to be exported to Havas’ overseas international PR agencies.

Red Havas Global CEO, James Wright, said that Crossman was a “phenomenal operator”.

“Jackie is a unique and phenomenal operator whose impact at Red Havas and the wider Australian industry can’t be under-estimated. From helping to grow the successful business and talent we have today in our Australian agency, to the leadership roles she has played within industry associations, her impact will be long-lasting,” Wright said.

The new board of directors in Sydney will be tasked with driving the agency into its next phase of growth.

Freedman, head of consumer, has been with Red Havas since 2012. Head of technology and B2B, Madry, joined the agency in 2018 and has since doubled its growth in digital practice.

Babakhan joined the agency in March as head of travel, tourism, sports and leisure. Cook, has been with Red for a year as head of health.

Rounding out the board is Red Havas’ business director Richmond-Coggan, who joined in 2015 as associate director, and was later elevated to client services director.

Clockwise from top left: CEO Sarah Trombetta, Grant Richmond-Coggan, Adam Freedman, Reema Babakhan, Symon Madry and Sue Cook

Red Havas CEO, Sarah Trombetta will chair the Sydney PR board of directors. Trobetta said Crossman would leave a “powerful legacy” at the agency.

“Jackie’s most powerful legacy remains the market’s strongest leadership bench and we are so grateful to her for bringing this team of specialists together. Adam, Symon, Reema, Sue and Grant have a wealth of expertise in their respective specialisms and passion for partnering with Australia’s most ambitious clients to drive meaningful outcomes for brands. Their commitment and shared values are exactly what this business needs to take it into the future,” Trombetta said.

The board of directors will come into effect on January 1 2020.


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