CCO out at Havas North America

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Jason M. Peterson
Jason M. Peterson Credit: Jason M. Peterson

Jason Peterson, chief creative officer for Havas North America, is leaving the company "on mutual agreement," the company confirmed Thursday.

The change comes the day after Ad Age published a story on a polarizing internal culture at Havas Chicago. Peterson did not speak to Ad Age for the story.

In an internal email and a statement obtained by Ad Age from Havas Group the company thanks Peterson "for his contributions to our organization in North America and [wishes] him all the very best in the future." The internal email was signed by Yannick Bollore, CEO of Havas.

For the story on Havas Chicago's culture, Ad Age spoke to a dozen current and former employees on condition of anonymity. They described a polarizing environment where some thrive and others feel isolated outside an inner circle.

"We structured our agency to be different," says Tatia Torrey, president and chief client officer at Havas Chicago. "We're really trying to bring culture from the outside in, so on a daily basis our team members are immersed in it and wanting to bring that culture to our brands."

Over the summer, Peterson prompted industry headlines after an internal Havas video popped up on Fishbowl and prompted a wave of negative industry commentary. In the video, which also featured Havas Creative North America CEO and Chairman Paul Marobella, Peterson characterized shops like Leo Burnett, FCB and BBDO as "shitty agencies" and said that Havas' competition is instead "kids with iPhones and millions of YouTube followers."

Peterson could not be immediately reached for comment.

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