Havas Host makes two senior hires from the UK; Kelly Larken joins as group account director and Mike Alhadeff as planning director

Havas Host makes two senior hires from the UK; Kelly Larken joins as group account director and Mike Alhadeff as planning director

(Pictured L-R: Mike Alhadeff, Ant Moore, Alyce Gillis, and Kelly Larken)

Havas Host has made two new senior appointments hiring Kelly Larken as group account director and Mike Alhadeff as planning director.


Both hires come directly from roles in the UK, with Larken most recently working as group account director and business director for Anomaly London, where she led the Coca-Cola and Unilever Masterbrand accounts; and Alhadeff from AMV BBDO London where he was senior strategist.

Both appointees are seasoned ad agency professionals and join Havas Host at a time of increased business momentum.

Says Ant Moore, managing director, Havas Host: “We couldn’t be happier that Kelly chose Havas Host when moving to Australia from London. Her passion for creating not only interesting work, but effective work, was obvious from the moment we met. We can’t wait to see the work we create together and are looking forward to the energy she’ll bring to the team.”

Says Larken: “I am thrilled to be starting this new chapter with Havas Host. From our very first meeting, it was evident that their ambitions match my own: to make culturally impactful work that produces disproportionate results for our clients. It’s a privilege to be joining such a talented bunch of people, and I’m looking forward to seeing what success we can create together.”

Larken has shown herself to be a versatile, entrepreneurial and creatively talented senior leader throughout her career. She’s flourished at creative hot shops, multinationals and a start-up along the way. She has worked with Unilever, Coca-Cola, Amazon Prime, BMW MINI, Mars Petcare and Netflix, producing a diverse cross-section of work including major global and regional campaigns for Mars, FujiFilm and Amazon Prime.

Larken’s remit includes helping to drive forward Havas Host’s output across a number of key accounts.

Alhadeff joins as planning director after almost five years at AMV BBDO London, where he was senior strategist. He started his career with five and a half years at at Grey London, where he was as a planner. He has worked on several British FMCG brands from Lucozade to McVitties, as well as Pringles and Currys, one of the UK’s biggest retailers, and was recognised as one of 2022’s top 10 trailblazers by Campaign UK.

Says Alyce Gillis, head of strategy at Havas Host: “From the moment we met Mike we knew he’d be a great fit with Havas Host. Not only does he have a great track-record and excellent experience, but he is someone who has already demonstrated boundless enthusiasm for the kind of culture-driven work that we’re passionate about making at Havas Host.”

Says Alhadeff: “I’m really excited to be joining Havas Host. Even from the very first Teams calls back in the UK, I sensed an energy from the team where they never settle for second best, and now that I’m here, I can’t wait to make some of the best work of my career.”

Alhadeff’s role will involve creating strategies across an array of Havas Host and Havas Village clients, he will also work across the research and insights division Havas Labs.

These senior appointments cap off a successful year for the agency, the first under Gayle While’s leadership; including the promotion of Ant Moore to MD, the appointment of Justin Ruben to ECD and Havas Host being appointed the creative agency for IKEA.