Chris Hirst

Chris Hirst

Global CEO Havas Creative at Havas Worldwide
London, Royaume-Uni

A propos

Chris Hirst is a change agent, widely recognized as an innovative and inspirational leader.

After a decade in CEO positions, he has a proven track record of leading transformation – guiding his businesses to deliver reputational change, growth and a culture of enduring success.

Chris is currently CEO and Chairman of Havas UK and Europe. As UK CEO he leads 1,800 people across both Creative and Media disciplines working within the European HQ in Kings Cross.

This truly integrated agency is a model many in the industry are looking to emulate and is a move Chris has overseen since he joined the business in 2015. Havas now has an unrivaled breadth and depth of capability under one brand and in a single location, making it one of London’s most exciting and talked about communications businesses.

Chris was previously CEO at Grey London. Under his leadership, the agency went from being a failing, ‘safe but dull’ agency to the hottest creative shop in London. During his 6 years as CEO, Grey London was the fastest growing (doubling its size) agency in London – named IPA agency of the year in 2014.

Chris went to his local state secondary school in Northumberland, before heading to Brasenose College Oxford to study Engineering Science. After an apprenticeship at Pilkington Glass in St. Helens he embarked on (an unlikely) career in advertising.

After a decade establishing his ability in outstanding account management, Chris went to Harvard Business School (2008) where he developed his unique and now proven, approach to leadership.

He believes in the principles of an open culture – where people are given permission to thrive and take risks – accepting that mistakes are a necessary part of success. 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 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 board at Vivendi and a trustee of the MOBO Foundation. He also holds a number of non-exec positions within the startup community.

Chris is a regular speaker at industry events and commentator in national press including BBC News, ITV News, The Politics Show, Evening Standard, FT and Sky News.

Expérience par secteurs

Postes

European and UK Group CEO
London, Royaume-Uni
September 2015 - Actuellement ici (5 ans)
Chris Hirst is originally from Northumberland. After graduating from Oxford with an MEng, he rather arbitrarily resolved to get a job in advertising. After working for a number of leading agencies, he joined the safe but dull Grey London as MD. Promoted to CEO, he got an MBA from Harvard Business School and began the agency’s transformation into the exciting, successful creative business it is today, being named the most effective and creative agency in the country as ADWEEK’s global agency of the year, IPA Effectiveness Agency of the Year and D&AD’s most awarded UK agency. Chris is a regular speaker at industry forums and commentator in national press. He is currently one of the BBC's Robert Peston’s Speakers for School. He joined Havas in September 2015 and is dedicated to creating the best possible business culture and environment to help attract the very best talent from all backgrounds.
CEO
London, Royaume-Uni
January 2010 - 2015 (5 ans)
Over the last ten years, Chris established Grey London as one of the UK’s most sought after advertising agencies, creating famous campaigns for leading brands like McVitie’s, HSBC, Vodafone, and the British Heart Foundation.

In 2014, Grey London was named the most effective and creative agency in the country as ADWEEK’s global agency of the year, IPA Effectiveness Agency of the Year and D&AD’s most awarded UK agency.

Experiencing rapid growth YOY, Grey London grew to over 450 staff working across all communications disciplines from TV advertising, to digital to shopper marketing.

Originally from Northumberland, Chris went to one of only two state schools in the UK with a boarding wing (although he lived across the road). For reasons which now escape him, he studied maths and physics and chose engineering as a career. During his year out he worked as an apprentice for Pilkington Glass in St Helens, which amongst other things convinced him he didn’t want to work in a factory for the rest of his life. After graduating from Oxford with an MEng, he rather arbitrarily resolved to get a job in advertising.

After working for a number of leading agencies and on a range of brands from Skoda to the BBC, he joined the safe but dull Grey London as MD. Promoted to CEO, he got an MBA from Harvard Business School and began the agency’s transformation into the exciting, successful creative business it is today.

Chris is dedicated to creating the best possible business culture and environment at Grey London and attracting the very best talent from all backgrounds. He is actively seeking to broaden the appeal of the advertising industry and is passionate about politics and social mobility as essential to the health of the creative industries and to the UK economy.

Chris is a regular speaker at industry forums and commentator in national press including the Evening Standard, FT and Sky News. He is currently one of the BBC's Robert Peston’s Speakers for School.
Managing Director
London, Royaume-Uni
June 2003 - December 2009 (6 ans 6 mois)
Acct Director
Bartle Bogle Hegarty
June 1996 - June 1999 (3 ans)

Formation

AMP, Business Administration

2008 (1 an)

MEng, Engineering Science

1990 - 1994 (4 ans)

Associations pro

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