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Havas Media has elevated Bret Leece to the newly created role of global chief data & innovation officer with immediate effect.

The New York posting will see Leece tasked with building new data products and services with which to offer fresh platforms for media planning and buying. The new role will also hand Leece the responsibility for audience planning, commercialization, data sourcing and data governance, collaborating with strategy, research and analytics teams to best meet the future data needs of clients.

Peter Mears, CEO, Havas Group Media, said: “More than ever, clients want engaging, meaningful content to communicate with their customers—they want that content to be built on a data foundation comprised of what their customers think, feel, and do. Bret Leece will work closely with Havas Media’s technology team, who focuses on platform architecture that leads to greater scale.”

Leece added: “In a world awash with data about what people do, understanding the reasons why people do what they do is more important than ever. This is extraordinarily complicated. Havas has all of the right ingredients to solve for this: thousands of passionate and smart people, deep connectivity to content creators, and great relationships with our clients’ media partners.

"Now is the time to pull these assets together and deliver a deeper understanding of why people make the decisions that they do and, ultimately, deliver our clients’ messages in a meaningful media experience.”

Leece arrives at Havas having previously served as global chief product officer at Initiative, product lead at comScore and president at Dentsu Aegis Network.