Publicis Groupe’s much anticipated succession plan is finally underway. The Groupe’s Supervisory Board has named Arthur Sadoun as the successor to Maurice Lévy, assuming the role of Chairman & CEO of Publicis Groupe, effective June 2017.
Beginning June 1, 2017, Mr Sadoun will become Chairman & CEO, presiding over the Management Board, which will also be strengthened with the arrival of Steve King, currently CEO of Publicis Media. Mr King will join current Management Board members Jean- Michel Etienne, Executive Vice President–CFO and Anne-Gabrielle Heilbronner, Secretary General.
This management team will be able to count on the Groupe’s expertise in transformation including, Alan Wexler and Chip Register of Publicis.Sapient, Nick Colucci of Publicis Health, Jarek Ziebinski of Publicis One and Rishad Tobaccowala for strategy and the recently donned client-centric approach.
“The highly respected professional qualities of Arthur Sadoun, his unique understanding of clients and their needs, his accomplishments both during his time at Publicis Groupe and before, and his human qualities, all make him the prime candidate. He will be able to count on Steve King, who is joining the Management Board, as well as Jean-Michel Etienne and Anne-Gabrielle Heilbronner, members of the Management Board. On behalf of the Supervisory Board, we have every confidence in this team to meet the challenges ahead,” said Elisabeth Badinter.
She added, “The Supervisory Board and myself would like to particularly note the exceptional work accomplished under the stewardship and thanks to the personal commitment of Maurice Lévy over the last 30 years; our Groupe has profoundly transformed itself, ranked today not only as the third group globally but above all as the first when it comes to the engine of the future: digital. It would be too long to list all of the accomplishments achieved under his direction. It suffices to say that, over this period, our headcount went from around 3,000 people to nearly 80,000; our revenue has multiplied by nearly 50 and our market capitalization by close to 100. I would like to warmly thank him and tell him how much the Supervisory Board and myself are grateful to him.”
The Supervisory Board has proposed that Maurice Lévy, upon completion of his mandate, join as Chairman. This proposition will be submitted to a vote by the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting on May 31, 2017.
“First of all, I’d like to warmly congratulate Arthur. I am extremely happy with this choice, which is the most appropriate and judicious for the future of our Groupe. It’s not just any choice, it’s a measured and well thought out choice that opens new doors for the future of our amazing Groupe. I have known Arthur for many years. We have worked very closely together. He is a seasoned professional with an inspiring vision of our industry and of our clients’ needs. He knows them well, he understands them well and he knows how to deliver the solutions and services they need to grow, develop and transform by selecting the best talent. He has the intelligence, the energy and the passion necessary to master our trade in a connected world that is changing and evolving constantly. It is all this together that will drive him, with the help of his team, to lead the Groupe on the path to success and to rise above any obstacle. In handing him the ‘keys to the future’, as Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, the founder of Publicis said to me, the Supervisory Board has made an excellent choice. I have every confidence,” Mr Lévy commented.
“Particularly since Arthur will be able to count on a first-rate team. The Supervisory Board has made a point to highlight Steve’s path, talent and unquestionable accomplishments in various fields. I have always greatly admired Steve and thought of him as a friend, as he has been able to meet every challenge and make necessary change with talent and impact. His promotion to the Management Board, alongside Jean-Michel Etienne and Anne-Gabrielle Heilbronner, who both know the Groupe inside-out, is well deserved and will allow him to provide his support and professionalism to the Groupe’s development. The Management Board, in its new form, is balanced and based upon high standards of rigor and expertise. I feel most confident this team is fit for the Groupe’s lofty ambitions. In direct support of the Management Board, talented leaders head our Solutions to best serve our clients and help them grow. It’s another reason to feel confident,” Mr Lévy added.
Mr Levy also thanked Ms Badinter to have “placed an enormous amount of trust by proposing take over as Chairman of the Supervisory Board”. “In this position, if the shareholders so vote it, alongside the members of the Supervisory Board, I will do my very best to accompany the new team who, under Arthur’s leadership, I am sure, will go above and beyond to take Publicis Groupe even higher,” he said.
Mr Sadoun said, “First, I’d like to deeply thank Elisabeth Badinter, Maurice Lévy and the Supervisory Board for their trust.I’m also extremely grateful to Publicis Groupe’s clients and teams around the world, with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working for the past 10 years. Leading the company founded by visionary Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet and made into a global communications leader by Maurice Lévy is an immense honor and an incredible challenge. A challenge that I’ll meet with open arms, thanks to the continued contribution of Maurice’s wisdom and experience, and the support of Steve King, the Management Board and the talented individuals who make up Publicis Groupe. Thanks to each of them, I’m taking on this new role with confidence, determination and one objective in mind: accelerating our transformation and development through The Power of One to continue to make Publicis shine like Marcel and Maurice have done for the past 90 years.”