Havas London’s Xavier Rees takes on Helia CEO

Havas chief executive Xavier Rees has kicked off the new year with a significantly expanded remit after being elevated to the role of Helia chief executive replacing Tash Whitmey, who was chief executive of Havas Helia for six years, quit last year to run Tesco’s customer loyalty marketing team.

Rees will take on responsibilities for Havas Helia from the end of January.

Rees joined Havas London in 2016, reporting to Europe chief executive and UK chairman Chris Hirst, after six years at Adam & Eve/DDB, where he was latterly group managing director and ran the Diageo and Volkswagen businesses.

Havas chairman Chris Hirst commented: “Havas London has seen a huge upturn in its trajectory since Xav and his team took over. Combined with his experience across a number of different specialisms, and the fact this appointment will encourage even greater integration between our agencies, I honestly can’t think of anyone better for the Helia job.”

Rees added: “The Havas Helia story is a special one and I’m excited to help write its next chapter. We have entered a golden period for the discipline of customer engagement and no other agency has a better pedigree to help brands capitalise on this opportunity.”