Following last week's unofficial reports [WAMN: 09-Mar-06], Havas has confirmed the appointment of Fernando Rodes as chief executive officer of the Paris-headquartered group, the globe's fifth largest agency holding company.

Rodes, the former ceo of Havas media buying unit MPG, takes over from banker Philippe Wahl, installed by Havas chairman Vincent Bolloré following his coup d'état last summer. Wahl will take up an appointment with Groupe Bolloré charged with oversight of its investment in Havas.

Meantime, the group reported a 2% fall in 2005 revenues to €1.46 billion ($1.74bn; £1.01bn), down year-on-year from €1.49bn. Despite the fall, net income rose 8% to €59m with organic growth up by 2.5%.

Net new-business wins last year hit €1.05bn, notably ESPN Mobile, Jaguar and Lukoil in the US and LG Electronics across Europe.

Subject to shareholder approval, the group has introduced a news stock option plan. A Havas statement says: "The board of directors has decided to propose to the annual shareholders' meeting the introduction of a new stock options plan, the creation of an allotment of free shares and the launch of an employee share-ownership programme."

Data sourced from BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff