Laura Aldington, CEO of Host/Havas has announced her resignation from the agency she first joined in 2007.
“It’s been such a difficult decision to step away from a business I’ve called home for so many years,” Aldington said. “I only feel able to do so because it’s in such great shape, with an established, world-class leadership team, an enviable culture, a dream client list, and an exciting body of work both in the market and in the pipeline. It’s time for someone else to craft the next chapter whilst I write an exciting new story of my own. It’s been an amazing journey from start up to grown up and I couldn’t be prouder of the special agency I leave behind, or more energised about what the future holds for me.”
Host/Havas enjoyed a strong 2022 under Aldington’s leadership, with a slew of new business wins in both creative and CX/data, including the hotly contested global account for Tourism Fiji. Aldington also established Havas Labs (an awarded research and insights team which services the entire Havas Creative Group) alongside Chief Strategy Officer, Olly Taylor, and re-launched their growing CX capability under new Managing Director of CX, Charles Rallings.
The agency delivered a body of highly awarded and globally recognised work across several clients. ‘Crime Interrupted’ – a modern recruitment campaign for the Australian Federal Police – became Australia’s second most popular national podcast, and was awarded at Cannes, D&AD, One Show, and LIAs. ‘Ol’au Palau’ – a world first tourism initiative that unlocks places and experiences in Palau not according to how much you spend, but by how gently and respectfully you treat their island home – has already received over 500 pieces of global coverage, been officially blessed by Palau’s council of elders, and been praised by international policy makers. The final app is due to roll out in the coming months. Most recently, Host/Havas launched ‘Fiji. Where happiness comes naturally’ for Tourism Fiji, which is running in multiple international markets including the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. D&AD ranked the agency in the top five in Australia in 2022.
Aldington first joined Host in 2007, becoming CEO in mid-2017 and has played a pivotal role as part of the Havas Village leadership team in both cultivating a strong, people first culture in Australia and driving integration and collaboration across the group.
Virginia Hyland, CEO Havas Media Group, commented: “Laura is an absolute force and we have benefited across the Village from the boundless energy she brings to everything she does. She has been a huge support to me personally since I joined the group two years ago, and I can’t wait to watch what she does next.”
Her leadership has been recognised multiple times in the last five years, including in AdNews’ Top 10 leaders (2018), Campaign Asia’s 40 under 40 (2019), Campaign Asia’s Women to Watch (2021), as well as on the shortlist for The CEO Magazine’s Media Executive of the Year (2021) and B&T Women in Media’s Executive Leader (2020, 2022).
Aldington will continue to serve as the deputy chair on the Advertising Council of Australia’s board of directors, a position she has held since 2018.
A new CEO appointment for Host/Havas will be announced shortly following an extensive search.
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