European and UK Group CEO of Havas and Chairman of Havas UK
Chris’ recent appointment as CEO UK Group and Europe follows a successful 12 years at Grey London. During his 6 years as CEO at Grey he transformed the agency into the fastest growing (doubling its size) and most creatively awarded in the UK advertising market. As well as winning IPA agency of the year.
Chris went to his local state secondary school in Northumberland, then to Oxford University to study Engineering Science. After an apprenticeship at Pilkington Glass in St. Helens it became obvious to him and others, that a life in a factory was not for him and he resolved to pursue a career in advertising!
Originally a planner, Chris has built his reputation on outstanding account management, first at BBH and later at Fallon, working on a range of brands from Skoda to the BBC.
A Harvard Business School graduate (2008), Chris’ leadership is based on the principles of an open culture – an expression of his belief in how people-based businesses should work. He is dedicated to creating the best possible cultural environment within his agencies and attracting the very best and most diverse talent. He is actively engaged in broadening the appeal of the advertising industry and sees diversity and social mobility as key factors in the future health of the creative industries in the UK and Europe.
Chris is a regular speaker at industry forums and commentator in national press including BBC News, The Politics Show, Evening Standard, FT and Sky News. He is the current Chairman of the IPA Effectiveness Leadership Group, holds a seat on the council of the Creative Industries Federation and the IPA Council, is a member of the Royal Society of Arts and a trustee of the MOBO Foundation. He holds a number of non-exec positions within the startup community.