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An Exodus at Havas?
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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It was late in 2013 when we covered David Jones leaving his post at Havas, one of the world's leading media holding companies, in order to co-found a smaller, more nimble startup.

Well, it seems that Mr. Jones was the beginning of a trend.

Yes, along with several senior exits due to Havas Media Group consolidating several of its bigger branches, two big names of the group are leaving.

First, Campaign Live announced the departure of Havas Media's Kelly Parker, and her arrival at OMD UK. The article brought out that Parker was not the first person from Havas that they convinced to join their ranks.

Good for her.

The second departure was a little higher up. Havas Media Group will be parting ways with its CEO, Mark Craze. Craze, a media company veteran, decided to step down to seek other "exciting" ventures. So in only several months, Havas has either lost or let go of several senior, respectable leaders.

What is going on?

It is important to look at facts to see if the relationships are coincidences or a trend. In reference to this story, and the profile of senior leaders looking for "more exciting opportunities," the trend does not bode well for the holding company.

It is true; the agency world is quite the revolving door. New talent will eventually come to the group, to be sure. But not all talent is created equal.

We have seen this before. GS&P has released several memos in the past five years that have announced layoffs and departures. Agencies, when losing clients, see senior leadership adjust to the circumstances.

But Havas is losing some heavy hitters. Whether or not Havas has something we cannot see under its wing, it has yet to be revealed.

And so it goes.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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