KBS has lured Guy Hayward from Havas-owned BETC Worldwide to be its first global CEO, with a brief to drive growth for the agency's embryonic international network.
The MDC Partners-owned agency has offices in New York, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, Toronto and Shanghai, but so far has only one global client -- technology brand TE Connectivity -- which it won in September.
Mr. Hayward said, "The global organization has been built. My job is to bring in global new business and to build relationships with existing clients." Current KBS clients with a global footprint include American Express, AOL, BMW, Elizabeth Arden, and Puma.
The agency made headway with global development in 2014, taking a majority stake in London-based creative and digital agency, Albion, and opening an office in Shanghai on the back of the TE Connectivity win. KBS expects around 30% of revenues to come from outside the U.S. this year, an increase of about 50% over 2014.
Mr. Hayward added, "In time we will go into other regions, but there are ways of serving clients without opening an agency. For now I will take this organization and drive that. It's a very new structure."
Lori Senecal, global executive chairman of KBS said, "Our expansion has been strategic and client-led, rather than about opening an office in every region."
At BETC Worldwide, Mr. Hayward was global business development director, responsible for building the network and overseeing global clients including Mondelez, Bacardi, and Diet Coke in Europe. Havas has been trying to turn BETC, its huge Paris agency, into an international brand, but only has two offices outside France, in the U.K. and Brazil. BETC has had a difficult time in London, with the original CEO and ECD departing suddenly in January 2014 less than three years after the agency was founded. BETC opened in Sao Paulo in February 2014 as a startup with two leading local agency execs, Gal Barradas and Erh Ray.
Mr. Hayward joined the Paris-based network in 2011 from JWT London, where he was CEO. Before moving to JWT in 2009, Mr. Hayward co-founded 180 Amsterdam in 1998 with two colleagues from his previous agency, Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam.
Ms. Senecal said in a statement, "Last year was the year we truly became a global company… Guy is the ideal internationalist to leverage this growing footprint and help all of our offices bring strong global perspective and world-class creativity and invention to our clients."
Mr. Hayward will relocate from Paris to New York for the new job.