Chris Howatson and Ant White leave CHE Proximity to start new agency

Paige Murphy
By Paige Murphy | 30 November 2020
CHE Proximity chief creative officer Ant White and CEO Chris Howatson

CHE Proximity CEO Chris Howatson and chief creative officer Ant White have announced they will depart the agency to start a new venture, Howatson + White.

The news comes after AdNews revealed Howatson's resignation earlier today.

Howatson says he has learned a lot working within the group over the last 19 years.

"I’ve learned from the very best people, worked on the very best clients, and been steered by the very best in Robert Morgan," Howatson says.

"I’m grateful for every opportunity I’ve been afforded and know the team will continue CHEP’s insatiable appetite for innovation and creative excellence.”

Clemenger Group executive chairman Robert Morgan acknowledged the contribution of Howatson to the group over the last two decades.

“Chris has shown fantastic leadership at CHE Proximity over the past eight years and prior to that with Clemenger BBDO in Melbourne and Brisbane. He has certainly made the most of the opportunity to run CHE Proximity and has built a fantastic Agency,” Morgan says.

“He leaves CHE Proximity in safe hands and I trust the agency will continue to do exciting, new age and innovative work and solutions for our clients, as we head into 2021 and in the coming years.

“We thank him for all he has done for the Clemenger Group and the support he has given the board and our companies over many years.

“We also recognise Ant for his great creative leadership at CHE Proximity over the past five years. He has led a powerful creative offering which has been a driving force behind some of the agency’s most successful campaigns in recent years.”

White joined CHE Proximity in 2016 as executive creative director before being promoted to chief creative officer two years ago.

He returned to Australia to join the agency after spending several years in New York, working at Droga5, US creative agency StrawberryFrog and as a content lead for marketing consultancy Co:Collective.

Howatson + White is set to open its doors in 2021 with Howatson remaining in his role with CHE Proximity until February to help with the transition for the agency's management team.

Replacements have not been named for either Howatson or White at this stage, however Clemenger Group says the agency will continue under the leadership of its "strong" management team consisting of Andrew Drougas, Renee Hyde, Martin Griffin, David Halter, Mark Gretton, Michelle Brooks, James Greaney, Nicole Flinton-Ferraro, Glen Dickson, Cameron Hoelter, Helen James and Mike Deane.

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