Exclusive: Leadership changes as Havas Lynx chief heads for the US

David Hunt, chief executive of Havas Lynx in the UK, has left the agency following his promotion to a new role within the Havas group in the US.

David Hunt has been promoted to the role of CEO of Havas Health & You West
David Hunt has been promoted to the role of CEO of Havas Health & You West

Hunt, who worked at the Manchester-based healthcare agency for more than 20 years, is the new chief executive of Havas Health & You West (HH&Y).

Meanwhile, Havas Lynx has appointed a new leadership team and promoted its managing director to the role of president.

Hunt will lead the HH&Y team, based in San Francisco, manage important regional clients and is also tasked with launching a new offering for the business in Los Angeles.

He said: "This is an exciting opportunity for me to test myself on a new stage, while continuing to inspire the best creative talent from around the world to use ideas and communications to improve patient lives."

Hunt, who was chief executive of Havas Lynx for eight years, is credited with playing a "crucial role" in its transformation from a small creative agency into a global healthcare comms outfit with 400 employees and AstraZeneca, Janssen and Novartis among its pharma clients.

The agency chief did work experience at Creative Lynx, the forerunner of Havas Lynx, when he was 18 years old, going on to join the agency officially to head its digital offer in 2004.

He was made digital director a year later and then chief executive in 2013, after Havas bought Creative Lynx.

Commenting on his time with the UK agency, Hunt said: "The last eight years with Havas have been fantastic. I am delighted to commit my long-term future to help drive HH&Y’s strategic growth along the West Coast."

He added: "The West Coast offers immediate and long-term opportunities for the business and we have a very talented team of people in San Francisco that I’m looking forward to working with and supporting."

New leadership team

Havas said a new leadership team had been established to run Havas Lynx as part of a long-term transition plan.

The team will be headed by Elizabeth Egan (pictured below), promoted to president of Havas Lynx Group from her previous role as managing director of Havas Lynx London.

Egan joined the network in April 2018 from AstraZeneca, where she was the pharma company’s global executive director of strategy and innovation.

Before that, Egan was at Weight Watchers for more than seven years, rising to vice-president of business development in emerging markets.

Egan is credited with delivering growth at Havas Lynx London and building successful partnerships clients Roche and Janssen.

She joined the network 12 months ago after successful global leadership roles at AstraZeneca and Weight Watchers and has played a key role in the growth of Havas Lynx London and its success with Roche and Janssen.

Donna Murphy, global chief executive of HH&Y, said: "Under David's leadership as CEO, Havas Lynx has quadrupled in size and won Healthcare Agency of the Year at last year’s Cannes Lions. His team’s pioneering work has also been instrumental in the network’s growth and helping to enhance the HH&Y brand. He’s the natural choice to come in and drive our expansion on the West Coast."

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