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Saatchi boss Robert Senior quits in yet another surprise from Publicis Groupe

So farewell then
Robert Senior
Boss of Saatchi & Saatchi
And latterly Publicis Communications (GB)

(with apologies to EJ Thribb, 17).

Publicis Groupe is springing a fair number of surprises these days (there may be a bigger one in a few weeks when the successor to CEO Maurice Levy is announced – or not).

Following hard on the heels of the elevation of media tech man Andrew Winand to North America CEO of Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi global CEO Robert Senior (below), also the newly-minted CEO of Publicis Communications in the UK which oversees Saatchi, Burnett and Publicis Worldwide among others, is off without, as they say, a job to go to.

Not that Senior, one of the founders of Fallon in the UK, actually needs or, possibly, wants one. It all sounds jolly amicable with Communications boss (and, possibly, Levy’s successor Arthur Sadoun) lavishing praise on Senior and Senior saying his decision to resign may be “the most stupid thing I’ve ever done.”

Senior will be succeeded by London boss Magnus Djaba who will work alongside fellow Brits global chairwoman and CCO Kate Stanners and global CSO David Hackworthy. Communications COO Justin Billngsley will take over Senior’s group role.

Sadoun says:”I feel lucky and privileged to have worked with Robert and to keep him as a friend. Magnus has his own character and will bring something new to Saatchi & Saatchi, for sure. But there is a line of connection there from Robert to Magnus and, for me, this is the best demonstration of the fact that we are working in continuity and not in disruption.

“Magnus’ appointment is first and foremost in recognition of the strong results he has driven for Saatchi & Saatchi London and the value he has generated for his clients.”

Senior leaves on a high note with Saatchi topping Campaign’s 2016 new business table chiefly thanks to regaining Asda after a short stay at VCCP. He was an outside candidate to replace Levy but may well have tired of the relentless globe trotting required in a global CEO a role. Saatchi has a big operation in the US, among other places. Its managers there may not take kindly to being excluded from the top international set-up.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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