Havas Dublin has appointed Chris Upton as the agency’s new CEO. A well-known figure within the industry, Upton was one of the co-founders and shareholders of Boys + Girls and is currently the chairman of The Marketing Society. He left Boys+ Girls in September 2018 to do an MBA at the UCD Smurfit Business School.
Upton, who starts in May, replaces Bob Coggins who headed up the agency for the past five years and who has decided to pursue other opportunities.
Upton began his advertising career at Des O’Meara & Partners before joining McConnells in 2001 as an account director before being promoted to its board. In 2009, he co-founded Boys+Girls – the creative agency which, nine years later, has grown become one of the most successful in Dublin.
Over the past two decades he has worked across and led clients from a wide range of sectors, including Ulster Bank, Barnardos, Britvic, BMW/MINI, Danone, Dulux, Tesco, Unilever, AIB, C&C and Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard. In his spare time, he lectures at the Technical University Dublin’s School of Marketing.
“I greatly admire Havas’ culture and ambition. Their ability to bring together the benefits of a global network with the nimbleness and creativity of an entrepreneurial mindset has been key to their success. The Havas ‘Village’ is a brilliant example of this and one we’re looking forward to bringing to the Irish market. I’m excited by the chance to lead such an interesting company at such an interesting time, both for Havas and for the industry as a whole,” says Upton.
Chris Hirst, CEO of Havas’ global creative network, adds: “What brilliant luck for our search for a CEO to coincide with Chris’ being on the market. From his side, he bought into our ambitious vision for the agency, while from ours, we knew he was the man for the job as soon as we met. Around the world, Havas’ creative agencies are experiencing a collective rejuvenation, and I’m thrilled someone of Chris’ calibre has agreed to spearhead that here in Dublin. I’d also like to place on record my thanks to Bob Coggins, who led the agency admirably and popularly for five years. Testament to the man, he even helped us in our search for his successor. He goes onto his next challenge with our very best wishes.”