Havas Media ‘founding father’ Leopoldo Rodés dies in road traffic accident | M&M Global

Havas Media ‘founding father’ Leopoldo Rodés dies in road traffic accident

Leopoldo Rodés Castañé, the founding father of Havas Media and architect behind the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, died yesterday following a road traffic accident in his native Catalonia.


He was 80 years old.

Rodés was a key player in the rise of the global media agency. He founded full-service agency Tiempo in 1958, remaining as chief executive until the 1980s. In 1978, he then separated Tiempo’s media department, creating specialist agency Media Planning.

Following its acquisition by Havas in 1999, Media Planning was merged with Mediapolis to form Media Planning Group. The agency expanded rapidly beyond its southern European heartland to become a global media player, eventually rebranding to Havas Media in 2013.

Rodés was succeeded by his son Fernando Rodes Vila as chief executive of the agency in 1994, with Fernando’s brother Alfonso Rodes Vila assuming the reins in 2006.

He stepped down as chairman in 2001, becoming a non-executive director.

The businessman was perhaps better known in his home city of Barcelona for his role in bringing the Olympic Games to Catalonia in 1992. In 1985, he created ‘Barcelona ’92’, with the intention of promoting the city’s bid to host the Summer Games.

Havas Group chief executive Yannick Bollore said on Twitter: “Very sad by the sudden death of Havas Media founding father Leopoldo Rodes. All my thoughts are with his family.”

Havas Media Group commented on its Twitter feed: “We salute the life and contribution of our founder Leopoldo Rodes who we lost today. Our thoughts are with our CEO Alfonso Rodes and his family

The funeral will take place on 16 July.

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