Havas has today announced the appointment of Naked New York MD, Matt Houltham as its new group managing director to lead a combined integrated Village offering in Melbourne.
Houltham’s appointment will see Havas drop its Worldwide and Media branding to become Havas Melbourne, making it the first Havas operation in APAC to operate as a single P&L combining creative, media, digital and employer brand.
Havas Melbourne will be supported by PR, with Havas-owned Red Agency operating from the same office.
The move signals a major strategic shift for Havas Melbourne and fully embraces the Group’s Village strategy to aggressively integrate creative, digital, PR and media to provide more effective and efficient solutions for clients.
Houltham joins the Havas Melbourne team on 27 January 2016. He will report directly to Group COO James Wright, and also work alongside Havas Creative Group CEO Anthony Gregorio and Havas Media CEO Mike Wilson, who he previously worked for as the MD of Naked in Melbourne.
“Our focus for the Havas Village is to excel at creating meaningful connections between people and brands through creativity, media and innovation.,” Wright said.
“Matt will help us integrate each discipline to make us more nimble and agile to the market, uniting some of the best minds in Melbourne to create ruthlessly effective campaigns for clients. It’s no small feat to lure Matt away from the bright lights of New York but we’re thrilled to be bringing such as well-respected and experienced talent back to Melbourne to help us deliver on some of our exciting plans for 2016 and beyond.”
Houltham added, “It’s great to be coming home to work alongside some of the best in the business, even the idea of working with Mike Wilson again didn’t put me off.
“The industry is evolving and we need to put client and consumer needs above siloed business units to create programs that drive growth for brand. I’m looking forward to bringing our Melbourne teams together to drive our business forward in 2016.”
Houltham steps into the role with more than 14 years leadership experience from some of the biggest advertising and media agency names. Most recently, Houltham was managing director of Naked Communications in New York where he transformed the business into a strategy-led creative agency. Prior to this he held a number of leadership roles at Naked Communications in Australia, ZenithOptimedia and Mojo and Publicis Digital.
Havas Melbourne works with clients including Coles, Danone, Mercedes-Benz, Warrnambool and Telstra.