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Donna Murphy to lead Havas Group's consolidated health division and creative group

Murphy will take on the new position in addition to her role as Global CEO of Havas Health & You

Donna Murphy

Havas Group has appointed Donna Murphy as the leader of Havas’ Creative Group, in addition to her role as Global CEO of Havas Health & You.

Murphy has over three decades of success in executive leadership in communications. Starting her career at Goldman Sachs, she joined Havas Group 35 years ago, when she led several US acquisitions for the group as part of their M&A team before taking a leadership role of the then newly founded health agency.

Since then, health and wellness has risen to the top of the global cultural ethos. Murphy, who also serves on the Havas Group Executive Committee, has played a vital role in shaping the Havas Group to date and will continue her close collaboration with the Media Global Network led by Peter Mears. 

This comes as Havas Group has announced the start of a new chapter, through the simplification of its organisation and the deeper integration of its Global Creative and Health Networks. 

As a response to the continued evolution of brands across categories and to continue to build on this success, a deeper integration of the Global Creative and Health Networks will simplify the Group’s organisation, accelerate its transformation, and strengthen its agility to meet clients’ ever-changing needs, the Group said. 

Yannick Bolloré said, “Havas Group is stronger than ever today thanks to the teams’ unfailing ability to reinvent themselves. We will build on this momentum and further deepen the integration between our business units to provide our clients, partners and talent with even more agile and streamlined collaboration.”

“Through her proven leadership, Donna has built the prototype for the end-to-end consultative partner that brands need today. Layered with our creative force and talented leadership teams, what we can offer health and consumer brands alike is powerful. Donna’s spirit of service, compassion and inclusive leadership not only fits the needs of our partners but will play a major role in us continuing our mission of making a meaningful difference to brands, businesses and people.”

Murphy said, “I’m deeply honoured to expand my impact with this great company and group of outstanding leaders. The key determinant of any great partnership is a sum that is greater than both parts. Bringing together the exceptional global brand leadership of Havas Health & You with the dynamic creative talent and unique blend of assets in the Creative Group produces something truly unique for our client partners and teams across the globe. This combination is only strengthened by the lockstep integration with our skilled media specialists and support and collaboration of the Vivendi family. The result is a unified, best-in-class agency offering with unmatched capabilities that will work across disciplines to support the success of the world’s best and brightest brands across categories.”

Further, Chris Hirst, who has led Havas Creative Group as Global CEO as well as UK Group CEO, will move on to pursue new opportunities, with the global creative leadership team that reported to him now reporting to Murphy. 

Hirst said, “I’m incredibly proud to leave Havas Creative Group in such great health. We have just achieved our best ever Cannes performance, are now a global new business powerhouse, have achieved numerous B-Corp accreditations and we are among the industry leaders in the critical area of DE&I. We have successfully launched several new thriving global networks, among which Havas CX and Havas Consulting, and have seen two consecutive years of record growth and profit. Consequently, this year we achieved the previously unthinkable: runner-up as Global Network of the Year. Ultimately however, it’s all about having more than your fair share of the very best people – and we were privileged to have just that. I’d like to thank them for all we have achieved.”

As part of the leadership changes, Peter Mears will also become Chairman of the Havas NA Village in addition to his role as CEO of Havas’ Global Media Group, bringing a more unified approach to the Group’s largest region.

Steve Netzley, founder and CEO of the Havas Edge Performance Network, will bring his strong expertise and knowledge of the performance marketing industry to the leadership team by joining the Havas Group Executive Committee.

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