Havas Formula restructures, creates new leadership team

The agency has created regional leader positions.

Alexis McCance, Havas Formula's first CFO
Alexis McCance, Havas Formula's first CFO

NEW YORK: Havas Formula has created a four-person leadership team and has structured the agency by region.

The new team reports directly to Havas Formula president and CEO Michael Olguin. The changes were announced internally on October 12, he said, and have been in effect for a week.

As part of the reorganization, Havas Formula’s SVP of operations Alexis McCance was named CFO, a newly created position. Olguin said the firm has left McCance’s old job vacant but her direct reports are assuming some of her former duties.

McCance, who has been with the firm for 19 years, now has approximately five direct reports and will lead HR, IT, operations, and new business. She will remain in San Diego, California.

Emily Porter, an EVP in charge of Havas Formula’s business technology division, was promoted to the newly created position of president of Havas Formula West, and oversees the firm’s high technology, B2B, BuzzLounge, consumer west, and Havas Los Angeles divisions.

Porter also has approximately five direct reports and is based in San Diego. She has been with Havas for 12 years. Olguin said the agency filled her EVP position with a current Havas employee who he would not name.

Jarrod Walpert, formerly executive creative director and head of strategy, was upped to president of Havas Formula East, a newly created position. He will also have approximately five direct reports and lead consumer east, lifestyle, social media, Havas Formulatin, corporate and consumer, creative services, and Havas Formula Chicago.

Walpert is based in New York and has been with Havas Formula for eight years. Olguin said the agency is currently searching for a new creative director.

Additionally, EVP Adrienne Cadena was named president of Havas Street, the brand activation division of Havas Formula based in Los Angeles. Its services include guerrilla street teams, sampling, mobile marketing tours, and media stunts, according to the firm’s website.

In the newly created role, Cadena is responsible for experiential, sampling, and production. Cadena is based in Los Angeles and is an 11-year employee, according to a release.

Olguin said Cadena’s old position "has not been backfilled yet because we are building that division slightly differently. We do have three people working for her who will get elevated but not immediately."

The new structure, Olguin said, gives his agency a deeper leadership bench and more internal control.

"The way we were set up we had way too many direct reports to me," he said. "We were growing and growing and all of the sudden I have all these direct reports and it was unmanageable."

The changes also give Olguin more time to market Havas.

"What the changes really do is get [the new team] more involved in account management, operations, and people management, which I currently do a lot of," he said. "And it frees me so I can spend more time chasing business which is what a CEO’s role should be."

Olguin said the idea for the reorg was hatched last year during a December strategic planning meeting. The new leadership team presented the plan to the parent company’s U.S. leadership team in April for approval.

Olguin said the changes do not affect how Havas calculates revenue.

"We will still have one P&L," he said. "But internally we’ll be separated by regions so we’ll have a better ability to analyze data to see where the growth opportunities are to fuel growth or see where to cut back if we need."

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