Simone Gupta promoted to CEO of Havas PR, adds Red Havas to OGB remit

Havas Group has promoted Simone Gupta to CEO of Havas PR in Australia, expanding her remit as CEO of One Green Bean to also include Red Havas.

The appointment follows Sarah Trombetta’s departure from Red Havas, which was announced at the start of February and took effect immediately.

Gupta took up the post at One Green Bean in early 2020, replacing Claire Salvetti, who stepped down in 2019 to move overseas. The appointment marked a return to Australia for Gupta after six years in London with Ogilvy, Edelman and @London.

As CEO of Havas PR, Gupta will continue to drive One Green Bean as the Havas Group’s ‘progressive creative communications offering’ while working with Steve Fontanot on the growth of Red Havas and its specialties in categories including: consumer brands, automotive, travel, lifestyle and leisure, health, and technology and business.

Simone Gupta and Steve Fontanot

Fontanot was named managing director of Red Havas upon Trombetta’s departure, moving across from his former role as the leader of Havas Blvd – the group’s brand experience and production arm.

Anthony Freedman, Havas Group’s ANZ chairman, explained Gupta’s newly created role would “ensure that the strategic direction, service offering and culture of both Red Havas and One Green Bean remain distinct”.

“Simone is a trusted and experienced leader and has worked successfully within a creative group environment in the past,” Freedman said.

“In her role as CEO of One Green Bean, and as an integral part of the Havas Village leadership team, Simone has shown herself to be smart, decisive, empathetic and resilient.

“Red Havas and One Green Bean are unique in that they were both founded in Australia and now have offices across the Havas Creative Group network worldwide. I have the utmost confidence that under Simone’s exceptional leadership both businesses will continue to flourish.”

The two agencies will continue to operate entirely separately. A Havas Group spokesperson told Mumbrella it had “given careful consideration to the potential for conflict” between clients across the two agencies and that “should a concern or conflict arise it will be addressed on a case by case basis.”

It also confirmed that “there is no merger planned” between Red Havas and One Green Bean.

Gupta said the uniqueness of each agency would continue to be valued.

“Red Havas and One Green Bean are both leaders in the earned media agency landscape for different reasons,” she said.

“This role is an opportunity to continue to develop that special uniqueness, enabling each agency to grow, delivering great work across a wide breadth of brands and businesses.

“I feel very at home at Havas Group, and I’m looking forward to working with the brilliantly talented leadership teams at both Red Havas and One Green Bean.”


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