Alison Weissbrot
Feb 18, 2022

Havas Media Group promotes Greg James to new global transformation role

James will focus on improving and adapting the client experience for the future.

Havas Media Group promotes Greg James to new global transformation role

Havas Media Group has promoted Greg James to the new role of global chief transformation officer.

James, a 15-year Havas Media vet who was most recently global chief strategy officer, will focus on enhancing and improving the client experience by making the 9,000 person network more agile and easy to navigate.

“Havas is not the largest group in terms of media. That's a massive benefit, because we can be more agile,” James told Campaign US. “We're trying to put more talent in more places more quickly to serve the variety of needs [clients have] got.” 

James will oversee the new strategic development and client experience teams at Havas Media, global hubs focused on transforming and adapting the client experience. He’ll work closely with global clients as a key point of contact.

“The job brings a different approach to clients that closely aligns strategic thinking and output at the center of the offering,” James said. “It makes it clear we value strategic work.”

James hopes to unleash the “network effects” of Havas more broadly for clients by avoiding the top-down, siloed structures common in large agencies. He aims to “make decisions more quickly” in order to staff the right people on key accounts, no matter where they sit in the organisation. Part of the restructure has involved “reducing some levels of management” to give clients more access to senior people. 

“I'm trying to culturally make our business feel more fluid,” he said. “I’m telling people, ‘don't worry about the P&L; I'll deal with it later. I want to remove barriers.”

He argues that while Havas is still a large company, it's easier to navigate and has more flexibility than the other holding companies because it's privately owned.

The new focus for James builds on his work as chief strategy officer, where he oversaw the redevelopment of Havas Media’s positioning, toolset and processes around the media experience, as opposed to the transactional nature of planning and buying. 

His new role ladders up to a broader strategy shift at Havas Media Group to make transformation part of its story for clients. The agency collected feedback from clients and talent and worked with a consulting firm in the second half of 2021 to implement the new strategy and structure. 

“My role is meant to mirror the fact that we recognize change is a constant and we have to keep reevaluating and restructuring based on client needs,” James said. “We can sell transformation, but we're also going through that ourselves. That mirror is helpful to build empathy.”

Source:
Campaign US

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