Havas hands reins to new senior team

Bollore revamps management team but finds no new role for Jim Heekin.

The corporate raider Vincent Bollore has been installed as the chairman of Havas and has restructured its management line-up, creating a new tier of management.

Significantly, there is no place for Jim Heekin, one of the group's most senior figures, in the new structure. Havas claimed Heekin, who met Bollore on Monday, had not been included because of his considerable duties as the boss of Euro RSCG, which accounts for 70 per cent of the Havas operation.

However, reports this week suggested Grey Worldwide was lining up Heekin to succeed Ed Meyer. Sources at Grey's WPP parent deny this.

If Heekin does leave (or is squeezed out), his most likely successor is David Jones, the British-born chief executive of Euro RSCG's flagship New York office, who was named as one of Havas' five managing directors.

The revamped management elevates not only Jones into a key role, but two other senior managers who anchor major network clients. They are Mercedes Erra, the chairman of Euro RSCG France, who has close relationships with Danone, Carrefour, L'Oreal and Air France, and Stephane Fouks, who oversees the group's corporate communications interests.

Above them will be the trio of Jacques Seguela, Havas' vice-chairman and chief creative officer and the guardian of the Citroen account; Ed Eskandarian, the US-based Arnold Worldwide Partners chief executive, and Fernando Rodes, the chief executive of Media Planning Group.

Philippe Wahl, a former head of the French bank Caisse d'Epargne, becomes the chief executive.

- Comment, page 48.