Havas London appoints James Fox as CEO

Fox, previously Chief Client Officer, will report to Havas Creative UK Group CEO Xavier Rees


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Creative agency Havas London has promoted Chief Client Officer James Fox to the position of CEO. The move follows the elevation of Xavier Rees – who had been CEO since 2016 – to UK Group CEO, Havas Creative in 2022.

Fox will continue to report into Rees, with the pair leading the B Corp-certified agency alongside Chief Creative Officer Vicki Maguire, Head of Strategy Britt Iversen, and Global Chief Strategy officer Mark Sinnock.

Since being appointed as only Havas London’s second Chief Client Officer in April 2022, Fox has been instrumental in a series of successes for the King’s Cross-based agency. These include successfully defending The Open University account following a competitive pitch, a number of new business wins including the DfE’s Further Education business, and substantial year-on-year growth of major accounts including Molson Coors and Asda – a relationship which saw the retailer ‘win Christmas’ with Havas’ Buddy the Elf-inspired campaign.

2022 also saw Havas London win Channel 4’s prestigious £1m Diversity in Advertising award alongside long-term partner Vanish (Reckitt), while Havas UK claimed the ‘Sustainability Best Practice’ title at the inaugural Ad Net Zero Awards. In February 2023, Havas London was shortlisted for Campaign’s Creative Agency of the Year.

Fox joined Havas following seven years at Omnicom agency Lucky Generals, where, in 2017, he was appointed its first Managing Director. In 2019, he was tasked with helping to establish the agency’s first overseas office in New York as Managing Director & Partner – a role he held until January 2022.

He initially joined Lucky Generals in 2014, shortly after it was founded by Helen Calcraft, Danny Brooke-Taylor and Andy Nairn. Fox had previously worked with the trio at both MCBD (2006-2010), where he began his career, and latterly Dare (2010-2012). Before joining them at Lucky Generals, he also spent nearly three years at Anomaly.

Xavier Rees, UK Group CEO, Havas Creative, says: “Having dedicated several years to building a strong, happy, and healthy culture within Havas London, I had to be confident a new CEO would continue to invest in and prioritise that. In Fox, we’ve found a true modern leader: competitive yet compassionate, and someone who instinctively gets what it takes to build a thriving culture within a progressive, 21st Century agency. He has already had a huge, overwhelmingly positive impact on both our culture and performance, and I know our people will be as excited to see him step up as I am.”

James Fox adds: “This is a special agency that continues to go from strength to strength, and I am incredibly proud to be taking on the challenge of leading it alongside Xav, Vicki, Britt and Mark. The energy that comes from our amazing people, who really do give a shit about each other, the agency, our clients and the work, is special – you only have to look at the momentum we’re building together to appreciate that We’ve already got a tonne of exciting things in the pipeline, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store.” 

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