De Pouzilhac Ousted as Havas Chief

23 June 2005

Embattled Alain de Pouzilhac has been forced to quit as chairman/ceo of global advertising group Havas.

His departure has been on the cards for two weeks, after French corporate raider Vincent Bolloré took control of the company, following a fierce eleven-month boardroom battle [WAMN: 10-Jun-05].

De Pouzilhac will be replaced in the short term by Havas board member Richard Colker, while a permanent successor is sought. It is believed Bolloré's choice is Jean-Mari Dru, head of Omnicom's TBWA Worldwide. Dru has so far declined to comment.

The battered de Pouzilhac is to remain on the board of Paris-headquartered Havas and will act as consultant, but his 30-year career with the world's sixth largest advertising conglomerate is effectively over.

The future of the group remains unclear. Bolloré insists he views his investment as longterm, but there is certain to be speculation over Havas' continuing independence. After its failure in the bidding war for Grey Global last year, it is seen as potential prey for its bigger rivals.

Data sourced from Adweek (USA); additional content by WARC staff