Havas Creative UK Group CEO Xavier Rees has been announced as the new Chair of the IPA Talent Leadership Group. The news, which was announced at the IPA Talent & Diversity Conference, sees him succeed ACNE London Managing Director Annie Gallimore in the role.
As Chair, Rees will play a key part in shaping the IPA’s mission to attract new and diverse talent into adland while creating inclusive workplace cultures through IPA and industry-wide initiatives like Advertising Unlocked, the IPA iList, the IPA Talent & Diversity Conference and All In.
He will also work closely with new IPA President Josh Krichefski to support his People First agenda, aimed at boosting the overall health and wealth of the agency business.
Says Xavier Rees, UK Group CEO, Havas Creative, and Chair of the IPA Talent Leadership Group: "I love this industry – and making it an attractive, inclusive and viable career choice for people from any background has been a passion area for me throughout my career. This is not a ‘nice to have’. For us to remain relevant, we must attract an unfair share of talent – and there’s work to do. I intend to use this role to enact meaningful, long-term change - and I’m incredibly grateful to Josh, Leila, and the team for giving me the opportunity to do so."
Commenting on the appointment, IPA Associate Director, Diversity, Leila Siddiqi said: "I’m delighted to welcome Xav as the new Chair of the IPA Talent Leadership Group. He has a solid understanding of why diversity, inclusion and equity matter, both in terms of the composition of our industry as well as in creative work and is brilliantly placed to inspire positive change.
"I’d also like to thank Annie for her dedication and vision in her time as Chair. The recent IPA Agency Census saw an accelerated pace of change and while this marks a considerable improvement year-on-year, now is the time to double down on our collective efforts to enable all underrepresented groups to thrive and reach their full potential."
For more on the IPA Talent Leadership Group and our initiatives, resources and training to improve diversity and inclusivity in the industry, visit the IPA Talent & Diversity Hub.
Xavier Rees is UK Group CEO of Havas Creative, including its flagship creative agency Havas London and customer engagement agency Havas CX helia. Named by Campaign Magazine as its agency head of the year 2021, and recipient of Oystercatchers’ outstanding contribution award, he is regarded as one of the industry’s most celebrated campaigning leaders.
Since joining Havas in 2016, Rees has overseen a remarkable transformation of its reputation and business performance – leading his agencies to major new accounts including Asda, Volkswagen Group UK, the Department for Education, and Molson Coors.
In 2018, he spearheaded Havas London’s certification as the industry’s first major B Corporation – a business legally required to put people, planet and profit on equal footing – and serves as an ambassador for the movement. He also sits on the IPA Council, the Ad Net Zero steering group and Effies’ UK board, while in 2020, he was named on the IPA’s ‘iList’ of inclusivity trailblazers.
Prior to Havas, Rees was Group Managing Director of adam&eveDDB, helping to lead the agency through its most successful period, including winning Cannes Lions’ coveted global agency of the year accolade. He has also worked for BBH, Wunderman, Archibald Ingall Stretton and RMG/JWT.