A view from the top

By David Jones, campaignlive.co.uk, Thursday, 28 February 2013 08:00AM

The week starts on Sunday night with the 11.30pm Air France flight from New York to Paris. As the only British chief executive of a French publicly listed company and living in New York, Paris trips are frequent. Land and go into meeting with the Peugeot Citroën chief executive and other senior management. Our first meeting since being appointed as a strategic partner - the first time someone who doesn't make a part of the car has been named one - goes well.

A view from the top

Tuesday: Eurostar to London. Meet with Chris Pinnington, the global chief operating officer – we chat about the meeting the previous week with key management from the 315 network agencies. Momentum in Havas Worldwide is great following the rebrand from Euro RSCG and a terrific new-business streak. Meeting theme was "change faster". There’s a revolution in our industry and, when revolutions happen, it’s rarely the big legacy businesses that do well. I believe Havas is well-placed to capitalise on the revolution – so apparently do the analysts, as our share price hits a nine-year high – but we have to be relentless in driving the change.

Next up, meeting with Kate Robertson, our UK chairman and my One Young World co-founder. We review business in the UK and discuss One Young World Summit 2013. It’s a charity to help brilliant young people drive positive change, bringing together 1,300 young people every year from 180 countries with big-name counsellors such as Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan, Jamie Oliver and Bob Geldof – so takes a lot of planning.

Off to lunch at Scott’s, where I’m speaking to a group of chief executives and business leaders about my book Who Cares Wins: Why Good Business Is Better Business and how digital and social media have empowered people to hold leaders and businesses accountable. HMV’s Twitter account takeover is timely. Positive energy in the room and belief in businesses’ ability to do both well and good is exciting.

Wednesday: Eurostar to Paris. Great meeting with my main shareholder and mentor, Vincent Bolloré. His long-term perspective allows us to focus on doing what’s right for the business rather than just this quarter’s numbers. I learn that BETC’s "the bear" has been named by The Gunn Report as both the world’s most-awarded TV commercial in 2012 and in history. I Tweet frenetically and send Champagne to BETC. Eurostar back to London.

Thursday: off to Reckitt Benckiser for the annual agency review meeting. Reckitt is a great client, extremely driven and entrepreneurial, so it always keep us on our toes. Afterwards, catch up for a meeting with the Reckitt chief executive, Rakesh Kapoor, and then off to the airport for the flight back to New York. Land at 11pm and home by midnight (5am UK time).

Friday: make my three eldest kids (nine, seven and four) breakfast and walk them to school. Always try to do that when I’m in New York as I spend too much time away. Gym, then into the office before the highlight of the week: lunch with my friend and hero, Kofi Annan. Haven’t seen him since his starring role at the One Young World Summit last year. We chat about that and future plans. Head back to the office. Day finishes by learning that our family flights to Costa Rica have been cancelled due to snow. Why are my work flights never cancelled?

David Jones is the global chief executive at Havas

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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