August 4 2022, London: Havas has unveiled its new-look UK leadership team – with two significant appointments further cementing creativity and collaboration at the heart of its integrated King’s Cross Village. UK Group Chief Creative Officer Mark Whelan becomes Chairman of Havas King’s Cross (HKX), while Havas London & Havas CX helia CEO Xavier Rees becomes UK Group CEO, Havas Creative.
In his new role, Whelan – who has been with Havas for 14 years following the 2008 acquisition of Cake, which he co-founded – will spearhead and champion collaboration, creativity and culture across the Village and its three divisions, Creative, Media and Health. Additionally, Rees will take on a broader remit across Havas’ creative agencies in the UK, including recently acquired digital experience agency Inviqa and sport, entertainment and culture specialist Cake – with his new title reflecting this expanded role. Rees joined Havas as CEO of creative agency Havas London in 2016, before taking on the additional role of CEO of customer engagement agency Havas CX helia in 2018. He was also named the UK Agency Head of the Year in 2021.
Havas’ three main divisions are now represented by a regional CEO in the UK, reporting into their global counterpart:
As Chairman of HKX, Whelan will partner with the three leaders, while collaborating with other UK agency leads, with the support of HKX Media and Creative Chief Financial Officer Alan Adamson. The ambition is to facilitate a Village-wide synergy, community and culture that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Donna Murphy, Global CEO of Havas Creative and Havas Health & You, says: “Around the world, we’re appointing more and more Village Chairs – a role that’s built to drive collaboration across our divisions and foster vibrancy and community spirit across our various businesses in each region. When considering the vibrant culture and personality of HKX, the unanimous decision was to appoint Mark to the role. Deeply collaborative by nature, he represents all the core values of our Village strategy and is a trusted and respected member of the HKX leadership team and Havas overall. The added appointment of Xav to UK Group CEO, Havas Creative, not only aligns the structure of our Creative, Media and Health divisions in the UK, but rewards the contribution of a truly talented leader and recognised force for good within the industry. Together, both underpin our continued commitment to world-class creative, deepened collaboration between our business units and the powerhouse strength of our UK footprint overall.”
Both Rees and Whelan have contributed to a remarkable transformation of Havas London, including its certification as the industry’s first major B Corporation in 2018, and the integration and growth of powerful new capabilities including Havas CX.