Publicis boss Sadoun poaches Ogilvy UK chief Annette King

A couple of weeks ago we reported that Publicis Media boss Steve King was to be supremo of Publicis Groupe’s UK business. In fact he’s not, it’s to be Annette King (below, no relation) poached from WPP’s Ogilvy Group in the UK. Steve King was the “executive sponsor” of this (whatever that means), stated by Publicis and ignored by us.

Anyway new Publicis Groupe boss Arthur Sadounn says in an internal memo:

“In the role of CEO of Publicis Groupe UK, Annette will oversee all of our operations in the market, from Publicis Communications, to Publicis Media, Publicis.Sapient and Publicis Health. She will be responsible for ensuring that we bring to life our vison of being our clients’ indispensable partner in their transformation. To do this, Annette will work closely with all of our UK leaders to drive greater integration across our capabilities, transform our relationship with existing clients, win the trust of new ones and of course cultivate and attract the best talent across our agencies and disciplines. She will report directly to me and join the global Management Committee.”

“The single Groupe CEO model has already been implemented in France with Agathe Bousquet and is starting to produce some great results. I’m confident that under Annette’s leadership all of our Groupe agencies in the UK will climb to even greater heights.”

So there you go. King, presumably, will be a big loss to Ogilvy in the UK. She’s widely respected by Ogilvy types in and outside the agency.

The big ad holding companies are all rationalising and “delayering,” getting rid of managers and brands that no longer (according to them) cut the mustard. Rival Havas is moving everyone into Havas “villages. Publicis, should it so wish, could just have Publicis Creative in place of Leo Burnett, BBH, Saatchi and Saatchi and Publicis Worldwide.

That’s not likely to happen in mature markets like the US and UK but could elsewhere. New boss Sadoun is certainly making waves. King’s departure from Ogilvy will cause a noteworthy ripple at ancient rival WPP.

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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.