Havas New York is putting its purpose stake in the ground by naming Lindsay Stein, well-known journalist and industry activist, to the newly created role of chief of social impact.
Stein, who most recently served as CEO of nonprofit Today I’m Brave, will report to Havas New York CEO Laura Maness and become part of the agency’s executive leadership team. Stein will work both internally within the agency and externally with clients to drive social change and “make a meaningful difference to brands, businesses and in people’s lives,” according to the agency.
“This is not about philanthropy or a pumped-up version of corporate social responsibility,” said Maness, but a move to weave purpose into the fabric of the agency. “Purpose-driven companies are seeking purpose-driven partners,” said Maness, and with the appointment Havas is signaling that social impact “infuses in every part of our culture in all our disciplines and in how we hold ourselves to the highest standard in the business.”
Stein, a former editor of Campaign U.S. and former reporter at Ad Age and PR Week, has long had an affinity for mission-oriented initiatives, spearheading coverage and awards on the topic for years. “Being able to marry my professional expertise and my passion for purpose feels like a dream come true,” said Stein, “especially doing so at a company that truly cares about making a meaningful difference and alongside Laura Maness, who I’ve long respected for her strong empathetic leadership and values-based approach to business.”
Navy Seal team
Maness likened Stein’s new role to leading a “Navy Seal SWAT team” that will drive initiatives across all parts of the agency including design, strategy and emerging technology, making sure all its cross-functional practices “are deployed against these business-building opportunities for our clients that are trying to learn their way through this,” said Maness.