Award-winning creative leader and former CHEP ECD Justin Ruben joins Host/Havas as new ECD

Award-winning creative leader and former CHEP ECD Justin Ruben joins Host/Havas as new ECD

Host/Havas has announced the appointment of one of Australia’s most experienced and highly awarded creative leaders Justin Ruben (far right) as executive creative director.


Ruben joins from CHEP, where he led the Sydney creative department as ECD after returning to Australia from New York in mid-2021.

Ruben departed CHEP earlier this year with Paul Meates returning to Australia to take over as ECD.

After beginning his career at DDB Sydney more than 20 years ago, Ruben has worked at a number of leading agencies in Australia and the US including Publicis Mojo, BMF, BBH New York, Droga5 New York, where he spent four years as group creative director and then The&Partnership where he was appointed ECD.

Ruben’s work has been recognised with multiple awards at shows including D&AD, Cannes, and The One Show. His ‘Summer rituals’ ad for Drumstick was voted among the best of the decade. Other highly regarded, influential and innovative work includes changing the bagel emoji for Philly Cream Cheese, ‘Read Yourself Better’ for The Wall Street Journal and getting legendary baby photographer Anne Geddes to change her iconic photo style for Karicare.

Says Gayle While (above left), CEO, Host/Havas: “Justin’s passion for creating culturally influential work that impacts society and brands makes him an ideal fit for Host/Havas and its commitment to making a meaningful difference to clients.

“Justin is a talent of the highest calibre, with an infectious energy to success. We’re lucky to have him on board to continue our legacy of creating meaningful, attention-grabbing work for clients. We can’t wait to see what he brings to Host/Havas. It’s going to be amazing.”

Says Ruben: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining the agency. It’s the perfect combination of the independent spirit of Host, with the incredible capabilities and smarts of Havas. I can’t wait to create some outstanding work.”

Ruben fills the role vacated by former ECD Jon Austin, who departed the agency last month after more than a decade working at the agency.

Ruben’s appointment consolidates the experienced Leadership Team building on the legacy and success of the creative and strategic and powerhouse for a new era. Ruben joins While, managing director Ant Moore who was promoted to the newly created role in March after almost nine years as Host/Havas managing partner, 20-year Host/Havas veteran and one of the country’s most respected and experienced strategists, Havas Creative Group Australia chief strategy officer Olly Taylor (above centre), head of strategy Alyce Gillis, and Havas Creative Network Australia CEO James Wright, who returned from a global Havas role in New York in January.