Havas-owned creative agency Arnold has appointed George Sargent as CEO, filling a role that’s been empty since Kiran Smith left the top job in October. He joins from Havas Media Boston, where he will also continue to serve as president.
Chief creative officer Icaro Doria, who joined the Boston-based agency two years ago, has been offered a new, yet to be disclosed role within the Havas network. Sean McBride, currently executive creative director at Arnold, will take on Doria’s job.
According to Havas, the moves signal a restructuring that leverages the network’s Village model, which essentially involves housing media and creative under one roof. “The dream is that we have both creative and media for more clients,” Sargent told Adweek in 2017 while discussing the Village concept.
In a statement, Havas said the latest appointments are part of the evolution of its Boston offering, which will seek to unify leadership across Arnold and its media practice. Havas added that the new leadership team, which is being led by Sargent and McBride, will pursue opportunities that bring together media, audience planning, brand strategy and world-class creative.
“We are thrilled to build solutions for clients that draw on the culture of a long-respected boutique creative agency, the national power of the Havas network and the strength of Havas Media Group,” Paul Marobella, Havas Creative North America chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “We are committed to the Arnold brand, but we’re equally committed to evolving the Arnold offering. We will be sharing more, including the supporting leadership team, in the coming weeks.”
The hope is that the reorganization will breathe new life into Arnold, which has had a rough go of it lately. Perhaps best known for its Progressive work featuring fictional spokeswoman Flo, the agency has lost a number of clients in recent years, including Jack Daniel’s, Hershey and Carnival Cruise Line.
In September, executive creative director Fred Saldanha left Arnold to join VMLY&R as global chief creative officer on the Colgate-Palmolive account.