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News 1 Aug 2022 - 3 min read

Havas ANZ CEO and Chairman Anthony Freedman to step down

By Sam Buckingham-Jones - Deputy Editor
Anthony Freedman

"It’s time for me to embark on a new chapter,” Anthony Freedman said, announcing he would step down as CEO and Chairman of Havas Group ANZ.

Anthony Freedman, the founder of Host and One Green Bean who became CEO and Chairman of Havas Group ANZ, will step down later this year from the role after a five-year tenure. The holdco has no plans to replace him, with its three local CEOs – Laura Aldington, Virginia Hyland and Simone Gupta – taking the reins and reporting to their respective global chiefs.

What you need to know:

  • Anthony Freedman, the CEO and Chairman of Havas Group ANZ, will step down later this year. He has been in the role for five years.
  • The group has no plans to replace him, and Havas ANZ’s three local CEOs will continue to lead and report to their network bosses.

Anthony Freedman, the CEO and Chairman of Havas Group Australia and New Zealand, will step down later this year after five years in the role.

Freedman founded Host in 2000 and One Green Bean in 2007 and was the first Chairman of the Board at the Communications Council, now the Advertising Council of Australia.

Havas acquired a majority stake in Host in 2011, becoming Host/Havas, with a similar deal with One Green Bean.

In his five-year tenure, he established a Sydney Village in the Rocks in 2019, and created a Melbourne Village in 2020. The company acquired Catchi in 2018, Hyland Media in 2020, and indie performance agency, Frontier Australia, earlier this year.

“Having set the Village up for success, with strong leadership, leading agency brands and a world class client portfolio, it’s time for me to embark on a new chapter,” Freedman said.

In a statement, Havas ANZ said it would not hire someone to replace Freedman, instead letting its current CEOs – Havas Creative Group’s Laura Aldington, Havas Media Group’s Virginia Hyland and Havas PR Collective’s Simone Gupta – lead and report to their relevant network CEOs.

Yannick Bollore, Havas Group’s Global Chairman and CEO, said: “Anthony has been key to driving growth in Australia and New Zealand, making it one of our most successful markets in the region. 

“Anthony has brought a sharp commercial acumen and an entrepreneurial spirit that has seen the ANZ group grow and innovate. He has curated a strong bench of leadership across the agencies, which are all in double-digit growth. He is leaving the group in great shape, and in great hands.”

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