Chris Hirst – Keynote Speaker

Global CEO, Havas Creative Network

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Chris Hirst Profile Picture

Specialist Subjects

  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Innovation
  • Creativity
  • Strategy


  • English


Chris Hirst was appointed Global CEO of Havas Creative Network in January 2019. He is widely recognized as an innovative and inspirational leader.

After a decade in CEO positions he has a proven track record of leading transformation – guiding his businesses to deliver reputational change, growth and a culture of enduring success.
Chris was appointed Global CEO of Havas Creative Network in January 2019. As CEO he leads over 20,000 people across all Havas’ global territories.

During his time as Havas UK’s CEO and Chairman, he was the architect of the first truly integrated agency model many in the industry are looking to emulate.
Thanks to his leadership, Havas UK now has an unrivalled breadth and depth of capability under one brand and in a single location, making it one of London’s most exciting and talked about communications businesses.

Chris Hirst was previously CEO at Grey London. Under his leadership, the agency went from being a failing, ‘safe but dull’ agency to the hottest creative shop in London.
During his 6 years as CEO, Grey London has been named IPA agency of the year in 2014, doubled its size and was the fastest growing agency in London.

Chris went to his local state secondary school in Northumberland, before heading to Brasenose College Oxford to study Engineering Science. After an apprenticeship at glass factory Pilkington Glass in St. Helens as an engineer, he embarked on (an unlikely) career in advertising.
After a decade establishing his ability in outstanding account management, Chris went to Harvard Business School (2008) where he developed his unique and now proven, approach to leadership.

Chris Hirst believes in the principles of an open culture – where people are given permission to thrive and take risks – accepting that mistakes are a necessary part of success.
He is actively engaged in broadening the appeal of the advertising industry and sees diversity and social mobility as key factors in the future health of the creative industries in the UK and Europe.

Chris is an executive board member at Vivendi and a trustee of the MOBO Foundation. He also holds a number of non-exec positions within the startup community.

Chris Hirst is a speaker at industry events and regular commentator in national press including BBC News, ITV News, The Politics Show, Evening Standard, Financial Times and Sky News.

He was named in 2018’s Evening Standard Power 1000 list and #3 in Campaign magazine’s most influential.

His first book, ‘No Bullsh*t Leadership: Why The World Needs More Everyday Leaders And Why That Leader Is You’ was published by Profile Books in May 2019.

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