Publicis reshuffle: Sadoun confirmed as leader with new broom management board

Publicis machinations used to be quite good fun when the talk was all of who would eventually succeed CEO Maurice Levy, with various contenders coming and going.

Like much else in adland it’s mostly settled down since (disappointing as that may be) with current CEO Arthur Sadoun now confirmed in post for the next four years and new a new “directoire” management board of likely lads and lasses confirmed.

They are (l to r) a relaxed-looking Arthur, Dave Penski (CEO of Publicis Media US), Carla Serrano (CSO Publicis Groupe and head of Le Truc in New York), Agathe Bousquet (president Publicis Groupe France) and Publicis Sapient CEO Nigel Vaz.

The original Directoire, known for parting opponents from their heads, was overthrown by Napoleon in 1799. No such dramas here it seems although veteran Publicis Media head Steve King is stepping down to be Europe chairman.

Publicis now claims to be the world’s second biggest ad holding group by scale (after WPP) and by value (after Omnicom and ahead of WPP.)

Hailing the era of “commerce,” Sadoun says: “Most of our industry is still relegating commerce to a specialism, a siloed capability, just like everyone did wrongly with digital years ago. This is a mistake we won’t make.

“Today every brand, business, channel, platform, person, can be a hub of commerce like never before. Thanks to data and technology, every brand experience can become a commerce experience.

“From a text to a tweet, a TikTok video to a television spot, a store visit to a transaction in the metaverse, every interaction today has the potential to lead to commerce.

“This is a big opportunity for our clients and for us, but also a big risk if we don’t make it a core priority for our group.

“With Epsilon and Publicis Sapient now fully integrated with our media and creative operations, we are uniquely placed to lead this creative commerce revolution, and put it at the core of our clients’ transformation journeys.”

Supervisory board chairman Lévy says: “This team will be in charge of operationalising the ‘Power of One’ in an even deeper, broader and more demanding way, with the integration of the e-commerce functions now inseparable from all dimensions of marketing and business transformation.”

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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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