Sadoun puts Justin Billingsley in the global new biz hot seat

Justin Billingsley is emerging as one of Arthur Sadoun’s most trusted lieutenants, and he’s now been given a brand new Publicis Groupe role — global chief marketing officer.

His remit,”to drive innovative ways to help clients grow,” feels like a direct response to Publicis Groupe’s first quarter results, which showed organic growth down to minus 2.9 per cent, before Covid-19 even had a chance to make a big impact on the numbers.

Billingsley’s new remit is tough, and growth is going to be a huge challenge for any agency. His approach will be four-pronged: leading initiatives to help existing clients grow; setting up more “power of one” agencies for group clients; organic and external new business; and PR.

That’s alongside his existing duties as chairman of Publicis Emil and Publicis One Touch (the group’s Mercedes-Benz and NIVEA agencies), and as a member of the management committee. He is being let off his role as CEO of Germany, Austria and Switzerland though, and will be replaced by an internal appointment, to be announced soon.

Arthur Sadoun, global CEO and chairman of Publicis Groupe, said: “Justin has the unique set of skills and experience to take on this critical new role in our organisation, particularly at this time of profound change. He has a global vision, a precise awareness of local nuances… and he has been at the forefront of developing and implementing some of the most advanced power of one models for our clients.”

A former Orange, Nokia and Coca-Cola marketer, Billingsley is a charismatic leader with regional experience running agencies in APAC, EMEA and in the US.

Billingsley said: “We have one objective and that is to help our clients find growth, both in the current context and in ensuring they are prepared for what is ahead. My focus as CMO will be to ensure the power of one approach is evolved and scaled so that we can help even more of our clients to transform.”

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