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Havas has promoted North America Chief Growth Officer Laura Maness to the newly created role of Havas Worldwide New York president, effective March 1.
Ms. Maness, who joined Havas' Chicago office in 2013 as U.S. chief growth officer, will report to Andrew Benett, Global CEO, Havas Worldwide and Havas Creative Group. She will relocate to New York City. The agency is in the process of looking -- mainly externally -- for someone to fill Ms. Maness' previous role, said Mr. Benett.
Aside from managing day-to-day activities in the New York office, Ms. Maness will handle key accounts, such as Liberty Mutual, Dos Equis and TD Ameritrade, added Mr. Benett. He said she will also use her "depth and breadth of leadership skills" to drive culture, talent and innovation.
During her time in Chicago, Ms. Maness helped the office achieve strong growth, winning accounts such as Moen, Ragu, DISH Network and Sears Holdings' Craftsman, DieHard, Kenmore and Kmart brands.
Havas Worldwide Chicago is one of the agency's "best and brightest villages," or offices in which all disciplines are integrated into one P&L, said Mr. Benett. While Ms. Maness won't exactly replicate her work to build the Chicago office, he said she'll bring some of that thinking to New York.
"To have 37 villages around the world, with not just creative and media but all relevant disciplines integrated, it's the largest, most scaled offer in the industry, so we need the New York village and all flagship villages to help lead the way in regard to innovation, culture and growth," said Mr. Benett.
Havas, he added, has been investing heavily in bringing a new wave of leadership to its creative group, so one of the main priorities for the year is to "take the level of our creativity up a few notches."
Last February, North America Chief Strategy Officer Tim Maleeny, Global Chief Marketing Officer Matt Weiss and former Global Chief Digital Officer Sean Lyons were named managing partners for New York, overseeing daily operations for the office, in addition to handling their other responsibilities. Mr. Lyons left the agency six months later to return to R/GA in the role of U.S. president. He had previously worked at R/GA for about a decade.
With Ms. Maness' appointment, Mr. Maleeny will focus on his role of chief strategy officer for North America, while taking on the additional task of leading more strategic initiatives across the continent. Mr. Weiss, who will continue serving as global CMO, will take on the dual role of global chief revenue officer, a new position for the firm. He will focus on steering growth for Havas and its clients, said Mr. Benett.