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Havas shuffles two key executives to drive growth

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MUMBAI: Havas has made some changes, shuffling people within its sister outfits. Andrew Benett has been appointed as Havas Worldwide global president and Robert LePlae as Arnold Worldwide global CEO.

Both will report to David Jones, who will remain Global CEO of the Havas Worldwide network.

Benett will retain his chief strategy officer role at Havas Creative Group. He is currently Arnold Worldwide (Havas‘ creative company) global CEO. In the new role, he will assume responsibility for leading the day-to-day management of the global network.

Benett has been with Havas for nearly a decade. Prior to his role at Arnold Worldwide, he served as global chief strategy officer for Euro RSCG Worldwide and CEO of Euro RSCG New York. During his recent three-year tenure leading Arnold Worldwide, he and his team grew the agency by more than 30 per cent, winning and growing relationships with clients including The Hershey Company, Jack Daniel‘s, Unilever, Volvo, American Eagle Outfitters and fab.com. The team also dramatically enhanced the agency‘s digital capabilities, while expanding the micronetwork‘s offerings in Amsterdam, London, Moscow, Shanghai and Sydney.

Benett said, "I am very proud of what we‘ve accomplished and delivered together. The leadership team at Arnold is one of the most passionate and committed I‘ve seen, and they are further strengthened by the expertise and experience Robert brings. I am looking forward to my new role. Havas Worldwide‘s digital strength and leadership in the areas of social media and social responsibility have put the agency at the cutting edge of the industry and we have high expectations of what we can accomplish in 2013."

LePlae was previously Arnold Worldwide global president. He brings a wealth of experience to his new role. He spent 11 years at TBWA, including five years as CEO of TBWAChiatDay Los Angeles, leading to his appointment as president of TBWA North America. He also spent two years in Japan as founding CEO of an international joint venture company to run the Nissan business globally. He is considered to have been a cornerstone in the emergence of TBWA Worldwide as a leading global creative network. Immediately prior to joining Arnold, he served as McCann Worldgroup North America president.

"When I joined Havas last year, its reputation as the most agile, entrepreneurial and integrated of all the big communications groups was incredibly appealing. Stepping into the CEO position at Arnold is an inspiring chance to deliver results for a first-rate group of clients, and to lead a world-class, innovative team at Arnold," added LePlae.

"Both Robert and Andrew will have a similar focus in their new roles - making successful businesses even more successful. When we moved Andrew to Arnold, we put him there to develop and execute a plan to turn around the agency - he‘s done that very successfully. The move to Havas Worldwide provides a different opportunity as the agency is coming off one of the best new business streaks in its history, having in the last few weeks won the global Unilever data business, the European Central Bank account, Louis Vuitton globally, Berluti globally, and Citibank CRM and eCRM as just a few of the highlights. His key focus will be leveraging his strategic strength to lead the business to even more rapid growth," said Jones.

Jones added, "This is an incredibly exciting time for our industry, presenting fantastic opportunities for big talents like Andrew and Robert, who are motivated by change. The momentum at Havas is very strong at the moment, following the successful rebranding of Euro RSCG to Havas Worldwide, the unique co-location of all our media, creative and digital teams into one building in Paris and in New York, and a great fourth quarter of new business wins and digital growth. These senior management moves represent another important step in delivering our strategic plan."

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