Publicis Groupe Names Creative Head Arthur Sadoun to Succeed Longtime CEO Maurice Lévy
Dated: January 27, 2017
The Publicis Groupe Supervisory Board has chosen Arthur Sadoun, CEO, Publicis Worldwide, to succeed Maurice Lévy as Chairman & CEO of Publicis Groupe. Sadoun will take charge of his new role from June 1, 2017, presiding over the Management Board, which will also be strengthened with the arrival of Steve King, currently CEO of Publicis Media. 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 world-class leaders and the full range of 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 group’s client-centric approach.
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.
On January 26, 2017, Lévy decided to hand over “the keys to the Groupe’s future” to Sadoun. In its 91-year existence, Publicis will have had only two CEOs, namely its founder, Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, for 61 years, and Maurice Lévy, for 30 years. Lévy was roped in as the agency’s first director of IT in 1971. His first mission was to implement a system of backing up data using magnetic tapes, unheard of at the time. Since 1987, Levy has multiplied the Groupe’s talent by 25, its revenue by 44 and its market cap by 93.
In December 2006, Sadoun became CEO of Publicis Conseil. His initial focus was on development winning key accounts: BNP Paribas, Capgemini, Intermarché, AXA, Yoplait, Luxottica, Orange, GDF SUEZ, Carrefour and Total. In January 2009, Levy appointed Sadoun CEO of Publicis France, the first network employing 1,600 people, to bring together 15 entities with under Publicis Conseil, Publicis Dialog, Marcel, Carré Noir as well as a market-leading regional network present across major cities in France and the French departments and territories overseas.
In April 2011, Sadoun was appointed Managing Director of Publicis Worldwide, before being named as the network’s CEO in October 2013. In July 2015, Levy asked Sadoun to add to his responsibilities the supervision of MSLGroup, Publicis Groupe’s PR, strategic communication and engagement network.
In January 2016, he was named CEO of Publicis Communications, Publicis Groupe’s creative hub composed of the Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, Publicis Worldwide, BBH, MSLGroup and Prodigious networks.
At the age of 21, after graduating from the European Business School, Sadoun left for Chili, where he founded his own advertising agency, which he later sold to BBDO/Chili. Returning to France in 1997, he completed an MBA at INSEAD and joined the TBWA network (Omnicom Group) as International Director of Strategic Planning and then as Director of Development. In 2000, he was appointed Executive Officer of TBWA/Paris, becoming CEO in 2003.