Entrepreneurs Forever 2014 | Version française

Dominique Delport

Chairman of Havas media France and global managing director Havas media

He is inventing the future for purchasing advertising space for one of the biggest communication groups in the world.

Pioneer, entrepreneur, inspirer: Dominique Delport has built his career path from insatiable curiosity and the taste for innovation. « I am really privileged; in the communication world, you don’t save any lives, and you don’t send anyone into space, you have to know how to keep the right distance, but how wonderful it is to be face to face with such passionately interesting people and ideas. »

His first passion, journalism, took him to M6, the 2nd biggest private TV channel in France. He learned the trade in the ‘’6 minute’’ regional news spot, in the Lyon branch, then Lille, before joining the news journal editorial in Paris.

Flashback to his studies at EMLYON and the National Board for Junior Entreprises which he chaired: his inner entrepreneur was seduced in 2000 by the script for Stream Power – broadcasting events on internet using the newly developed technology of streaming –. And right from the first shots, the whole decor of the start-up was already in place: the cast of young talents brought all together in an incubator, the initial love money (some of which came from two EMLYON teachers), the images which were too heavy (and the lines which were too small), the first wonderful contracts and professional awards... But one month after Dominique Delport’s arrival, the dot com bubble burst, taking with it the scenario of going public. The story was turning into a film noir. « In this extremely violent crisis, the only way out – the only thing to have faith in – is work and the imagination of your teams to make the project succeed. »

I love that word, ‘’transmission’’, it’s the most beautiful thing.
I even began writing a book called “Transmission breakdown”.
It’s a major challenge for our society – transmitting values, emotions, and life-lessons between generations – and the heart of management – transmitting vision, energy and trust –.

Quick change of plan, and he somersaulted over to television and signed with Endémol, who were launching the first Big Brother show in France. The show gambolled to the top of the box-office, attracting 20% of internet traffic, and transformed the audio-visual economy. Stream Power retransmitted the programme, and continued to give the cue to Endemol on the new media, for all its TV reality shows.

The company began to produce its own interactive formats, which won an Emmy Award. But being a SME in the audio-visual sector is like... being a feature film in Hollywood. In order to have more than just the supporting role, Dominique Delport launched a new dialogue with industrial partners. The Bolloré group, who had invested in Havas, started filming their test shots in purchasing advertising space.
After journalism and creation, Dominique Delport found himself on the credits of an international super-production.

The outline of the film was clear: to double the activity of purchasing space and multiply digital activity by three. « We took advantage of technologies to give our clients advice which went further than the mere purchasing of advertising space, and which had an impact on their whole business model. »
He is still chairman of the French subsidiary (the undisputed market leader) and makes sure that the integration of the digital activity of Havas Media worldwide (workforce of 7,000 in 100 countries) is in sync, at the side of the Chairman Yannick Bolloré. « Having an international scale is important, but your agility is just as important. Havas absolutely has to be the most innovative group in the international Top 5. »

So Dominique Delport projects himself into the world of tomorrow, cultivates the start-up spirit, turns on the positive pressure for his teams, keeps them going through the rushes, explores big data and invests in special effects for mobile technologies. « If you move less quickly than the ecosystem, you go backwards. »

He works and travels intensely, but he also likes switching off from his screens, to make time for his other passions, his wife Elizabeth, (who writes feel-good books), his 3 children... and the cinema!

EM Lyon: Programme grande école 1992
Translation : Carole Bausor, ILTC
Date de parution : 12/09/14