SINGAPORE - Havas Creative Group has appointed former Starcom Mediavest Group (SMG) executive Mike Amour as chairman and CEO for the region.
Juan Rocamora, who held the APAC chairman role since 2012 despite being based in Spain, will retire at the end of the year; Rocamora is also CEO for Southern Europe.
Amour will be responsible for leading and driving collaboration and growth for the agency. Based in Singapore, he will report to Andrew Benett, global CEO of Havas Creative Group.
Amour, who begins the new role Monday, was most recently Asia-Pacific president for SMG. He left that role in July after 18 months. Prior to that he was regional CEO for Project:Worldwide and also led Grey Group Asia. Amour has also held senior management positions at McCann, TBWA and Wieden + Kennedy.
Benett said the search for an APAC leader took almost nine months. Bennet was looking for a CEO who could drive the firm's collaborative culture and ambitious expansion plans.
"It's a lot easier said than done to put the client and employees at the center," Benett told Campaign Asia-Pacific. "We're expanding rapidly into digital and getting deeper into intellectual property platforms, and that calls for someone with Mike's track record."
Amour will drive both organic and inorganic growth, according to Benett. "We are looking at a higher level of acquisitions in the region, especially around data, and at businesses that are diverse and can give us scale we need."
The new role will allow Amour to showcase his media and creative expertise. “Given what Havas is trying to do with the Village concept, I would hope that my experience would give me good perspective to accelerate growth,” Amour said. Havas moved up in the most recent Campaign Asia-Pacific Agency Report Card, which cited the Village approach as paying dividends.
Describing his approach to the role, Amour said it is key for any agency to function in a leaner, faster manner, given the speed with which the marketing world is moving. “Havas is very ambitious to grow and in a competitively differentiated manner," he said. "It’s important to have a good sense of what we can expect both in terms of organic and inorganic growth,” he added.