Sean Thurgood
Apr 21, 2022

Havas production network appoints first global chief operating officer

James Sanderson, who founded Wunderman Thompson Inside, joins Havas Studios from marketing consultancy ICP.

Havas production network appoints first global chief operating officer

Havas Studios has named James Sanderson as its first global chief operating officer. 

Sanderson joins Havas’ global production network from marketing consultancy ICP, where he was the global creative operations practice lead. 

Before joining ICP, he founded Wunderman Thompson Inside, WPP's in-housing division, and was its global head for three years. He was also chief operating officer of in-house agency Oliver for two years. 

Sanderson has previously spent seven years at Glue Isobar (now Isobar) as joint MD and then COO, before serving as UK president at Digitas from 2009 to 2011. 

In his new role, he will develop the network of production studios – which include those in London, New York and Paris – as well as new outposts in Latin America, China and India, working alongside Havas Studios global chief executive Paul Ward.

He is tasked with ensuring technology is used as part of the handover between different locations, to improve efficiency and effectiveness during the process.

Havas Studios is investing in technologies that are "location agnostic" so the business operates well at all hours across the globe, the agency said.

Ward said: “I met James six years ago. As we started to hone the Havas Studios business plan, I naturally found myself drawing a James-shaped role into the business – he brings exactly what we need to get us to the next level.”

Sanderson added: “Havas Studios was built from the ground up, without the legacy of outdated technology or ways of working. 

“There’s a real opportunity to build the most modern, efficient and creatively driven global production agency on the market. Global demand for content at scale continues to grow unabated, and my role is to ensure Havas Studios continues to do likewise.”

Last year Havas appointed Katie Keith, from Rattling Stick, to a hybrid role spanning both its London creative agency and Havas Studios. Keith is global head of content for Havas Studios and head of production for Havas London in a bid to encourage collaboration and instil a production-led "makers" ethos. 

Havas Studios launched in 2021, offering film, audio, print, photographic and digital production.

Campaign UK

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