Publicis says it’s now a platform and brings in Sylvie Ouziel to make it work

Sylvie Ouziel has joined Publicis Groupe as its first “leader of Shared Platforms,” which might mean everything or not as much as it sounds. The clearly high-powered Ouziel (below) joins from Singapore-based tech company Envision Digital. She was also a global COO at Accenture.

Her immediate responsibility is Publicis’ Re: Sources, a 5,000 strong global team charged with “building consistency and synergies across the Groupe’s tools and systems, supporting its country-led model; Marcel, the proprietary AI-powered platform connecting and scaling Publicis’ teams plus real estate, procurement, insurance and the global management of the Groupe’s technology partnerships.”

In other words, ensuring its fabled “Power of One” actually works under the bonnet. It’s probably useful that Ouziel began working life as an engineer.

Ouziel says: “I am very honoured to join Publicis and excited by its “tradition of modernity”. To continuously earn the trust of clients and teams in a constantly bar-raising environment, Publicis Shared Platforms will focus on scaling leading-edge digital solutions, at speed, in a compliant and cyber-secure way, on processing mass transaction with industrial quality and hosting inclusive and inspiring virtual and physical collaborative spaces for teams, partners and clients.”

CEO Arthur Sadoun says: “The addition of Sylvie to Publicis’ leadership team further confirms our shift from a holding company to a platform. Our country model is in place, with a single P&L to deliver an end-to-end model. Our global capabilities in data and technology with Epsilon and Publicis Sapient are fuelling all of our local operations to help our clients transform.

“Our shared platforms will, more than ever, support our clients’ growth by providing them with guaranteed outcomes, reduction of delivery risk and increased cost-competitiveness, along with speed to market and strategic flexibility.”

Sadoun talks a good game, as ever, and it’s true that Publicis has modernised itself, arguably, more than the other ad holding companies although the Power of One still sits atop a multitude of competing brands.

But these are big promises and, presumably, there’s a big future for Ouziel if she can make it all work. Publicis’ next CEO if Arthur decides to run for President – who knows?

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About Stephen Foster

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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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