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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Red Havas introduces corporate affairs practice, appoints Matt Thomas to leadership

Australia — Red Havas has expanded its presence in the strategic corporate communications space following the launch of a dedicated corporate affairs practice. With this, the company has named the 20-year industry veteran Matt Thomas as the new executive director of corporate affairs.

Thomas brings two decades of experience as a results-oriented, strategy-driven communications professional across the agency, consultancy, government, education, and the arts to the role. His agency background includes three years at Icon Agency, holding the position of director of public relations and content, where he grew a small team to win notable recognitionsacross the Asia Pacific.

He also holds extensive work experience in the government sector, including holding positions such as senior communications and advisory roles with Bayside City Council and Victoria’s Department of Health, as well as Department of Education and Training, Department of Sustainability and Environment, among others.

For the new role, Thomas will lead Red Havas’ corporate and recently formed public affairs teams to service clients within Red Havas and across the Havas Village. The newly created role encompasses oversight of crisis and issues management, strategic communications, corporate media relations, internal communications, stakeholder engagement, government, and investor relations thought leadership, reputation management and media training.

Simone Gupta, CEO of Havas PR Australia, said, “Thomas brings a clear strategic vision for how government and corporations approach corporate narrative, build and protect reputation. Red Havas has trusted long term relationships with clients across sectors that often look to us for this kind of counsel and strategic planning, led by Thomas this is an exciting growth area for the agency.”

On the appointment, Thomas welcomed the opportunity to help organisations navigate rapidly changing landscapes and shared his enthusiasm on his new role.

“Red Havas is a great Australian success story. From a small office in Melbourne, the brand has become a major powerhouse in the global public relations sector. I’m delighted to be joining the agency at this exciting time to build on its existing strengths in corporate and public affairs and expand this offering to meet the evolving needs of clients across business, government and the not-for-profit sectors,” Thomas said.

The introduction of the Red Havas corporate affairs offering follows the formation of the public affairs practice headed by experienced public policy and stakeholder engagement campaigner Lawrence Muskitta in December 2021, and the subsequent appointment of exceptional political and strategic communications advisor Jacqui Munro as senior account director.

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Platforms Featured ANZ

Foxtel Group appoints Marshall Heald to newly-created executive director position

Australia – Australia-based subscription television company, Foxtel Group, has appointed Marshall Heald, former director of content at public broadcasting firm Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), to assume the newly created leadership role of executive director of Foxtel Entertainment.

Heald brings with him 14-year career experience at SBS. He previously led the adoption of digital technologies and innovation across SBS, as well as the firm’s online presence.

In his new role, Heald will be responsible for the creative vision and editorial strategy for all content on the owned and operated Foxtel entertainment and movie channels, together with the presentation of all on demand content on the Foxtel IQ, Foxtel Now, and Foxtel Go products. This also includes on demand content from Foxtel’s channels, as well as third-party channels, sports channels, integrated third-party apps, and TVOD movies. 

Amanda Laing, Foxtel Group’s chief commercial and content officer, believes that Heald’s creativity and experience will help take the firm’s engagement to the next level across channels and on demand, supporting the investments they are continuing to make in Foxtel as a core part of the Group’s vision for the future.

“How we curate and present our content has never been more strategically important, and Marshall’s leadership will be an important element in driving our future success, to deliver on our ambitions and build on the momentum the Foxtel Group has established,” said Laing.

The appointment of Heald will be effective in March 2022.

This November, Foxtel has announced the rebranding of its loyalty program Foxtel First to Foxtel Reward, as well as the recent partnership with live entertainment company, Live Nation Australia, to bring Foxtel Rewards members unmissable live music events.

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Marketing Featured ANZ

Red Havas welcomes Alex Bryant as new executive director for Sydney team

Australia – Public relations agency Red Havas in Australia has appointed Alexandra Bryant, former managing partner and creative principle creative communications and content company Finchco Agency, to assume the newly created role of executive director for the Sydney office. 

Bryant brings with her extensive agency and client-side experience. Prior to joining Red Havas, she has worked with various clients including Westpac, Menulog, and Fujifilm Instax, as well as Mad Mex, and Repurpose it. Bryant has also worked in-house in a range of marketing, communications, and HR-based roles for the likes of Westpac and Colgate-Palmolive.

As the new executive director of the Sydney team, Bryant will be responsible for overseeing the team’s performance, growth, and operations, including driving people and culture initiatives. She will also be leading new business and providing senior client counsel across the agency’s consumer, B2B, and tech portfolios.

Commenting on her appointment, Bryant said that it is such an exciting time to join the business and continue to grow the clients’ brands and strong culture with that signature Red flair.

“Red Havas has long had a reputation for working with some of Australia’s best and biggest brands and brightest minds. The people-first approach, strong national leadership team, and brave clients who strive to be meaningful in a sea of sameness were evident throughout the process,” said Bryant.

Simone Gupta, the CEO of Havas PR Australia, and is responsible for Red Havas, commented that Bryant is a smart, fair, and empathetic leader who is passionate about leading a people-first culture, and has a strong track record of successfully integrated client work. 

“Alex completes an exceptionally strong lineup across the Red Havas national leadership team in what is set to be a year of significant growth,” said Gupta.

Red Havas has recently announced the appointment of Haylie Marchant to the role of executive director for the Brisbane office, driving growth in the market.

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Marketing Featured ANZ

Red Havas names Haylie Marchant as new executive director for Brisbane team

Australia – Public relations agency Red Havas in Australia has just announced the leadership appointment of Haylie Marchant as its new executive director for the Brisbane office. 

Red Havas is part of the Havas PR Global Collective, a team of 1,300 consultants across 40 offices, including Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, and London, as well as New York, and Singapore. 

Marchant brings with her 15 years of experience in building and running agencies across Australia and the United States. Prior to joining Red Havas, she has previously worked as the principal at M2 Communications, where she provided PR and communications services and strategic consulting to clients in the technology, healthcare, and transport, as well as consulting industries. In addition, Marchant has spent 10 years at Haystac, where she established and grew the Brisbane office before taking on the role of national head of strategy in 2018.

As Red Havas’ new executive director for Brisbane, Marchant will be responsible for driving growth in the Brisbane market. She will also be joining the agency’s national senior management team.

Commenting on her new role, Marchant said that she is looking forward to working closely with the entire agency to build on its impressive foundations and further grow Red Havas Brisbane.

“I knew from the very first meeting that I wanted to join Red Havas. There was a complete alignment of values and business philosophies, underpinned by a genuine commitment to driving a people-led culture, which has never been more important than in today’s landscape,” said Marchant.

Meanwhile, Steve Fontanot, Red Havas and Havas Blvd’s managing director, commented that after an extensive search, they are excited to welcome Marchant to the leadership team. 

“When meeting Haylie, it was easy to see that we have a shared belief in a people-led culture, along with a strong point of view on the future of our industry. Her wealth of experience will deliver significant benefits to our clients in Queensland, as well as on a national level, through her contributions to the senior leadership team,” said Fontanot.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

SEA venture capital firm Openspace Ventures appoints new senior team members

Singapore – Openspace Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on investing in technology opportunities in Southeast Asia has appointed former Walt Disney’s APAC head for business development Jessica Huang Pouleur as its new executive director, while finance and investment executive Aristo Setiawidjaja has been tapped as the company’s senior advisor for Indonesia.

The company said that the new appointments come as the team expands its portfolio of investments in the region.

Aside from the executive director position, Pouleur will be joining as a member of the investment committee of OSV+, the company’s newly established opportunity fund focused on mid-stage technology investing.

For over ten years, Pouleur has been focused on Southeast Asian opportunities in telecommunications, media, and technology. As Walt Disney’s head of strategy and business development for APAC, Pouleur led and oversaw strategic initiatives and managed Disney’s investment and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity across the region including key aspects of its 17 billion US dollar acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Before that, she was with Providence Equity Partners as director based in Singapore, leading the evaluation and management of growth-stage investment opportunities across the SEA region.   

Meanwhile, Setiawidjaja is a board member and managing director of hospital network Hermina Hospitals in Indonesia amid joining Openspace Ventures. Prior to that, he was a director at investment firm Olympus Capital.

Poeleur, commenting on her appointment, “Southeast Asia is evolving rapidly as a market and my experience at Disney and Providence has given me a great perspective on the exciting opportunity set. Good investment opportunities start with a clear understanding of diverse regional consumer dynamics supported by relevant product development and leading technology. I am excited to join Openspace where I have known the Partners for a long time and watched with admiration as their team has helped build some of the best companies in the region.

Meanwhile, Setiawidjaja said, “As we deal with the new normal due to COVID and rethink how daily life will change in its aftermath, there are plenty of emerging opportunities in Indonesia and the region. I am looking forward to contributing my perspectives to Openspace in sectors it is investing in, which coincide with my domain knowledge of the sectors.”

Shane Chesson, founding partner at Openspace remarked, “Openspace is now operating four funds across the region with a team of 25 diverse individuals delivering on the unique requirements of technology investing in Southeast Asia. We welcome our new team members who add to this diversity and skill set. The investment environment is attractive during this phase and we will keep executing on our busy pipeline.”