Havas Media Group Australia and New Zealand chairman Mike Wilson will step down after eight years with the agency at the end of August. Wilson will continue to act as a consultant to the business on key projects.
Wilson launched Havas Media Australia as founding CEO in 2013, before stepping into the newly-created role of chairman in 2019. Havas Media ANZ has grown to a team of close to 150 people with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland with clients including Kia, Destination NSW, TK Maxx, Gillette, IAG, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Avis Budget Group, SunRice and World Vision.
Most recently, Wilson oversaw the acquisition of the Hyland Agency, completed in 2020, which in turn led to the appointment of Virginia Hyland as CEO of Havas Media Group Australia. Wilson also led the targeted acquisition of CRO and analytics specialist Catchi in New Zealand and Australia.
Originally hailing from the UK, Wilson moved to Australia in 1997 and worked at WPP Media Agency MEC before co-founding Naked Communications in 2004 prior to launching Havas Media.
“I am so proud to have played a role in establishing Havas Media as a major player in Australia and New Zealand. I leave behind a wonderfully supportive client-base, and a very talented, fun and inspirational agency team. I look forward to seeing Virginia take the business to more successes in the future – the agency is in great hands. I’ll be on hand to support in future initiatives, but the time is also right to commit to some exciting new projects,” Wilson said.
Havas Group ANZ chairman Anthony Freedman said: “I have been lucky to have known and worked closely with Mike for more than two decades. He is one of the smartest media minds around, but more than that, a true entrepreneur who has built successful businesses, including Naked Communications, before establishing Havas Media. He is a progressive agency leader who really gets both the art and science of modern marketing.”
Virginia Hyland added: “I want to personally thank Mike for his incredible support over many years. Mike has been a wonderful mentor to me, our team and our valued clients. I have been very lucky and proud to work alongside such a great industry leader. Mike seamlessly on-boarded the Hyland Agency into the Havas Media agency. Happily, it is not goodbye and we will still work together on key initiatives. I do appreciate that Mike needs to spread his wings after what has been a very successful journey building and leading Havas Media for many years. Congratulations Mike for achieving so very much within the industry to date, in what has been an illustrious career.”