The Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris: FR0000130577, CAC 40] Supervisory Board (Conseil de Surveillance) has chosen Arthur Sadoun to succeed Maurice Lévy as Chairman & CEO of Publicis Groupe.
With the support of the Nominating Committee and Maurice Lévy, Elisabeth Badinter, the Chair of the Supervisory Board and President of the Nominating Committee, have led a thorough analysis. They concluded that the Groupe is rich with talent, leaving no need to search for an external candidate. Beginning June 1, 2017, Sadoun will become Chairman & CEO, presiding over the Management Board (Directoire), 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 client-centric approach.
One of the points of pride for the Supervisory Board and one of the reasons for Publicis Groupe’s success are the incredible expertise found across the Groupe, allowing clients access to The Power of One – an approach tailored to best fit client needs, at the service of their own transformations, in a constantly changing world.
Elisabeth Badinter stated, “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. 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 3rd group globally but above all as the 1st 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. Succession is never an easy task and this is the reason why I very much insisted that Maurice Lévy remain at our side to provide Arthur Sadoun with guidance in and recommendations for his difficult task. Therefore, I have proposed that Maurice Lévy join the Supervisory Board as Chairman, if the shareholders agree with my recommendation and that of the Supervisory Board at the next Annual General Meeting.”
Effectively, 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.
Maurice Lévy said, “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, and congratulate Arthur warmly. 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. He’s also a man with admirable human qualities. 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. 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. We owe where we are today to our clients, and we thank them for their trust. In order for us to continue to be worthy of this trust, we need to put in place the strongest team possible to drive the future. This has now Finally, I am extremely thankful to Elisabeth Badinter, who has placed her trust in me over the last 20 years. The harmony that has always existed between the Supervisory and Management Boards, the friendly, transparent and trustful collaboration between Elisabeth Badinter and myself, have, without a doubt, been the secret to the success of Publicis. Elisabeth Badinter has placed an enormous amount of trust in me by proposing I take over as Chairman of the Supervisory Board, for which I thank her deeply. 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.”
Arthur 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.”