James Wright Returns As CEO Havas Creative Network, Gayle While Appointed CEO At Host/Havas

James Wright Returns As CEO Havas Creative Network, Gayle While Appointed CEO At Host/Havas

Havas has announced the return of James Wright to Australia as CEO Havas Creative Network and will take responsibility for its agencies including Host/Havas, h/commerce, Red Havas, Havas Blvd, One Green Bean and Organic. Wright will continue in his role as Global CEO Red Havas and global chairman of the Havas PR Global Collective.

Additionally, Gayle While has been appointed CEO at Host/Havas and will report to Wright.  While joins from Dentsu where she was Chief Client Officer and previously had been CEO at Clemenger BBDO.

Gayle While & James Wright

Wright joined the Havas Group in 2011 and was based in Australia until 2018. During that time, he led Red Havas to become one of the largest and most awarded PR agencies across APAC, including more than twenty agency of the year accolades. He also held various roles across the wider Havas Australia Group as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Commercial Officer.

In 2018 he moved to the US to take the Australian founded Red Havas brand global and has picked up numerous awards in the process, most recently Large Agency of the Year at the PR Platinum Awards 2022. Red Havas has now expanded to 24 offices across 14 markets.

Wright said: “Whilst I have always kept close to the Australian market and teams during my time in New York, I am delighted to be back in my spiritual home where we have a world class roster of agencies, talent, clients, and opportunity. I am looking forward to working with our senior management teams in the Havas Village to forge an exciting new chapter for the Group.”

Gayle While has worked with some of the UK and Australia’s leading organisations to deliver growth and behaviour change through customer driven strategies. Her passion lies in helping clients leverage creativity, data, and technology as an accelerant for sustainable business growth.

While said: “I’m excited to join a creative agency with such an enviable legacy, and humbled to play a part in continuing to propel the team and work forward. There is a phenomenal team, and it’s the combination of their passion with access to the talent, innovation and collaborative spirit across the Havas Village that makes this such an incredible opportunity.”

“Getting to know James through the process, it became clear there’s a genuine ambition and commitment to take the business to another level, and I can’t wait to work with the team to build on its successes, and continue to make a meaningful difference to our clients.”

Donna Murphy, Global CEO of Havas Creative and Havas Health & You, said: “James has a unique understanding of the Australian market and has an outstanding track record across the group of building successful global and local agencies. His PR and creative expertise are a powerful combination. Add to that the talents of Gayle who has an incredible creative, digital and data background we are confident in achieving our strategic growth plan.”

Over the past year Havas Australia has been active in the acquisition market with the additions of Frontier and Bastion Brands becoming part of the Havas Village of agencies. Murphy concludes: “Historically Australia has been an exciting and highly creative market for us, so under the leadership of James and Gayle we are looking forward to seeing it achieve its full potential.”




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