Fernando RodÃ©s, Havas vice-chairman and chief executive officer of media buying unit MPG, is being lined up to take a wider executive role at the Paris-based global marketing services group.
According to those close to the negotiations, Havas chairman Vincent BollorÃ© (pictured) – who owns a 24 per cent stake in the company – is keen to persuade RodÃ©s to take up a senior role, which may involve displacing recently appointed group chief executive Philippe Wahl.
Wahl – not widely known in marketing services circles – is believed to have been installed as a compromise candidate in July last year, after BollorÃ© toppled previous chairman and chief executive Alain de Pouzilhac and took control of Havas. Wahl was previously chief executive of a unit of French bank Caisse d’Epargne.
In addition to his stake in Havas, BollorÃ© independently holds a 25 per cent stake in London-based media specialist Aegis and has expressed an interest in building a relationship between the two companies. RodÃ©s could act as a natural bridge, say sources.
When BollorÃ© was buying into Aegis, Wahl publicly distanced Havas from BollorÃ©’s stake-building activity in the UK media company.
RodÃ©s is one of three vice-chairmen who lead a Havas strategic committee, headed by his father and co-founder of MPG, Leopoldo RodÃ©s. The other two members are Havas chief creative officer Jacques SÃ©guÃ©la and Ed Eskandarian, head of Arnold, another Havas network.
However, RodÃ©s is thought to be nervous of the impact of a senior overarching role on the team that manages Euro RSCG globally. This comprises RÃ©mi Babinet, Mercedes Erra, StÃ©phane Fouks and David Jones. Jones, now chief executive of Euro RSCG Worldwide, was touted as a possible group chief executive before Wahl’s appointment.