CEO at Havas London
Xavier Rees is CEO of Havas’ 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 new accounts including Asda, Volkswagen Group UK, the Department for Education, EDF, Lloyds Banking Group, Compare the Market and Molson Coors.
In 2018, he spearheaded Havas London’s certification as the industry’s first major B Corporation – a business that balances purpose and profit, and one legally required to consider the impact of its decisions on employees, customers, suppliers, its community and the environment. He also serves as a B Corp ambassador, advocating for the scheme within the industry and wider business community as well as driving its uptake within Havas’ global network.
Rees sits on the IPA Council, the Ad Net Zero steering group and Effies’ UK board. He has actively supported the Creative Mentor Network, the Modern Masculinity initiative, Bloom’s reverse mentoring programme and Creative Equals’ Diverse Minds programme, prompting conversation and action around neurodiversity. In 2020, he was named on the IPA’s inaugural iList, recognising the industry’s 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.
He is a devout Crystal Palace fan – one of many afflictions – and obsessively collects music, books and deeply average marathon times.