NEW YORK: Havas Group said on Thursday that it has elevated Havas Health & You global CEO Donna Murphy to lead Havas Creative Group, replacing Chris Hirst. Murphy will continue to oversee HH&Y.
Murphy, who has been with Havas for more than three decades and led HH&Y since 2017, said the opportunity to lead two essential company assets is “exciting.” She added that it anticipates closer interaction between the company’s health and consumer divisions in the years ahead. The divisions will continue to operate separately, but Havas will leverage best practices between them.
“If you speak to our clients, they are craving more solutions from the consumer side, so there are lessons we can learn for the health side,” Murphy explained. “Then the consumer side is craving from the health side because, as we know, most of the things on the consumer side are focused on health and wellness. It’s just a natural integration.”
“This is not health taking over creative; that’s not what’s happening here. It’s leveraging the best of each side where appropriate,” she added.
Murphy said the organizational restructuring is ongoing and will likely take a few months to finalize. She said that the company will establish the new groups via a transparent, collaborative process.
Looking out on the industry and economy at large, Murphy acknowledged significant headwinds facing marketing agencies, including the lingering effects of the pandemic and the potential for a recession. One trend that she continues to monitor is the return to in-office work. She said that Havas has been approaching the challenge in a “focused and purposeful” way, rather than bringing people back in for the sake of bringing people back.
On the topic of economic uncertainty, Murphy said a recession would affect client budgets and, subsequently, their marketing partners. Still, she said Havas is prepared for whatever comes next owing to its deep talent pool and international presence.
“Health is huge, but with this adventure we’re going on at Havas, we have a huge opportunity focused on data and analytics,” she said. “We’re looking at how we bring that all together – not only across health and creative, but also media. We have an unbelievable tool in that and we’re going to continue to invest in that area.”
Havas unveiled two other leadership changes on Thursday. Global Media Group CEO Peter Mears adds the chairmanship of Havas NA Village to his purview, while Havas Edge Performance Network founder and CEO Steve Netzley joins the Havas Group Executive Committee.
This story first appeared on mmm-online.com.