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Cake Appoints Rosie Holden as CEO

Advertising Agency
London, UK
Rosie was previously managing director of Havas’ sport, entertainment and culture agency

Cake, the Havas-owned creative agency specialising in sport, entertainment and culture has promoted managing director Rosie Holden to the vacant role of CEO. The appointment, which will see Rosie head a 10-strong leadership team, is recognition of year-on-year revenue growth of 45% and a run of new business success spanning major brands and rights holders including Major League Baseball, Arsenal FC, Aston Martin F1 Team, Diageo brands Captain Morgan and Gordon’s, Sport England, the FA, and JD Sports – for which Cake created its fully-integrated Christmas 2021 campaign, named by YouTube as the most engaging Christmas ad of the year

Since joining the agency as managing director in 2019, Rosie has overseen a three-year evolution of Cake from a PR and sport sponsorship agency into a full-service creative agency spanning comms, social, influencer and culture marketing, partnerships, sponsorship strategy and activation, live and digital experience and production. 

She has done so while maintaining an 100% client retention rate, including Cake’s long-term partnership with blue chip clients BT and EE, activating their partnerships with some of the UK’s most iconic sport and entertainment properties including the Home Nations, BAFTA, Glastonbury and Wembley Stadium. 

Under Rosie’s leadership, the agency has also doubled its headcount – achieving an 80%+ staff retention rate in each of the past three years. 

Rosie joined Cake from Karmarama, where, as managing partner, she led its PR and social influencer discipline and brands including Nike and Diageo. Prior to this, she spent six years as managing director of John Doe, delivering campaigns for brands including adidas Originals, Absolut, PlayStation and Beats by Dre. She has worked brand-side – spending two years in adidas’ global comms team and nine years leading PR and marketing for Vans – and has also held senior roles at agencies including Exposure and M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment. 

In her new role, Rosie will report to Xavier Rees, who was tasked last year with overseeing Cake alongside his role as CEO of Havas London and Havas CX helia. 

Rosie says: “I am incredibly proud to be named Cake’s first female CEO. Over the past three years, we’ve followed a clear strategic direction, building a team of best-in-class talent and attracting brilliant new brands to complement our long-term partners. These, plus the scale and access to complementary specialisms within the Havas Village, make us perfectly positioned for further success at what is an exciting time for the industry post-pandemic.”

Xavier adds: “Since joining Cake, Rosie has done a truly impressive job of leading, growing and re-energising a great agency, returning it to its very best. Now, it is doing some of the most interesting and innovative work – for one of the most enviable client lists – in its field, with tremendous growth fuelled by happy people and happy clients. Rosie's promotion is incredibly well-deserved and I know it will prove very popular with the whole Cake crew.”