Altersohn Heads Havas Digital North America
Andrew Altersohn has been named president of Havas Digital North America, filling a position vacant since Ed Montes left last fall to run Havas media trading spinoff Adnetik.
Altersohn was previously executive vice president, marketing and strategy at Publicis Modem USA, where he served as an executive leadership team member and as relationship lead for clients such as Hasbro, Dice Holdings and LG Electronics.
In his new position, Altersohn reports to both Anthony Rhind, co-global CEO of Havas Digital, and Maria Francoli, CEO of Havas Media North America and sister media agency MPG Global.
Speaking to Online Media Daily from Bogota, Colombia, where he and first-day-on-the-job Altersohn were attending a quarterly global strategy meeting for Havas Digital's seven regional digital units, Rhind stressed his new hire's long experience beyond just the "media deployment" side of digital advertising. Rhind touted Altersohn's "integrated digital agency background" with Publicis, Digitas and Ogilvy, Sullivan & Co. during a 20-year career in advertising.
Altersohn's experience with full-service digital agencies, Rhind said, dovetails nicely with Havas Digital North America's own roster, which a year ago added creative shop Archibald Ingall Stretton to such existing entities as Media Contact and mobile unit Mobext.
Other key elements in Havas' digital mix include Adnetikc, the Artemis data platform, search, social media and analytics, said Rhind.
Altersohn added that his goals include "better delivering an integrated digital offering, as well as integrating closely with MPG (media) and our partners on the traditional side."
Havas' creative agencies include Arnold and Euro RSCG, whose global CEO David Jones last week replaced Fernando Rodes Vila as CEO of parent holding company Havas SA. Both Jones and Havas chairman Vincent Bollore cited acquisitions as the pathway to future corporate growth.
Having funds available for acquisitions is "a position we're fortunate to be in," Rhind said. He acknowledged that such purchases are likely to be in the digital realm, and that U.S. properties are among those being considered.
Havas is also investing in U.S. talent. The Altersohn hire comes five months after Havas Media tapped another Publicis exec, Sasha Savic, to be the group's first chief commercial officer for North America. Rhind also revealed that Havas has just secured several digital-only U.S client wins, which will be announced soon. The group's current top clients include Fidelity, Choice, Exxon and Volvo.