Havas Media Group appoints Matt Houltham as CEO as Mike Wilson becomes chairman

Havas Media Group appoints Matt Houltham as CEO as Mike Wilson becomes chairman

Havas has today announced Matt Houltham, currently group managing director of Havas Melbourne, as CEO of Havas Media Group across Australia and New Zealand, effective January 2020.


Houltham joined Havas in January 2016, after five years as managing director at Naked Communications, initially in Melbourne and latterly in New York. Prior to this, he spent five years as digital partner across Publicis agencies, Zenith Optimedia and Mojo.

Since joining Havas, he has transformed the Melbourne operation, revitalising its creative product with wins including Puma, PZ Cussons, Saputo and SBS while launching a media offering, which now counts a number of blue chip companies including World Vision, Momentum Energy and Michelin among its client portfolio.

Houltham will lead a team of more than 100 people across Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, as well as Havas Sport and Entertainment, overseeing its breadth of services across strategy, media planning and investment, performance marketing, content development, data consultancy and brand partnerships. He will also have a continuing role overseeing Havas Melbourne.

Mike Wilson, who was the founding CEO of Havas Media from November 2013, will assume the newly-created role of chairman, Havas Media Group. In this capacity, he will maintain an involvement with key clients, explore targeted M&A opportunities, maintain and develop key partnerships and explore further integration opportunities with Vivendi group companies including Universal Music Group, Studio Canal, Gameloft and Daily Motion.

Says Anthony Freedman, chairman, Havas Group Australia and New Zealand: “Matt has a rare blend of experience across media, creative, digital and research businesses, in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and US. He is the perfect person to lead the charge in ensuring Havas Media remains the most progressive media group in the market.

“Mike has done an outstanding job building a business from scratch, to become a team of 100 people, and in his new role, will be able to consider the partnerships we need to continue to grow, as well as how best to capitalise on the opportunities we have as part of Vivendi.”

Says Houltham: “I’m thrilled to be expanding my remit to work closer with Mike and the brilliant Havas Media Group team in Sydney and New Zealand and look forward to deploying our new Meaningful Media Experience (Mx) process and leveraging the Village model to help our clients grow in 2020.

Says Wilson: ”I’m extremely happy to be able support Matt in his deserved elevation to CEO of the Havas Media Group. Additionally, the Vivendi group of companies provides opportunities for our clients, our agency brands and our people that are unrivalled in the market.I am really excited to be in a position to help unlock these partnerships in earnest for the first time.”