Publicis’ Global CEO, a Potential Successor to Chief Maurice Lévy, Takes on a New Role

Arthur Sadoun to run MSLGROUP PR shop, too

Arthur Sadoun's star keeps rising at Publicis Groupe. The exec, named global CEO of Publicis Worldwide in 2013, is adding oversight of MSLGROUP, the public affairs, corporate communications and event unit at the French holding company, to his list of responsibilities.

As a result, Olivier Fleurot, MSLGROUP's current CEO, has been named to the new role of svp at Publicis Groupe. He'll oversee communications, corporate social responsibility, real estate, insurance and cross-disciplinary programs.

The 44-year-old Sadoun, thought to be a top contender to succeed Publicis Groupe chief Maurice Lévy, has been taking on new responsibilities since joining Paris-based Publicis Conseil as CEO in 2006. Three years later, he was named CEO of Publicis France. In 2011, Sadoun was promoted to Publicis Worldwide managing director and given responsibility for operations in Western Europe as a step in learning more about the agency outside its French home base. 

In the wake of Publicis Groupe's failed merger with Omnicom Group in 2014, the 73-year-old Lévy has said he will step down as CEO next year.

In making the announcement about Sadoun, Lévy stressed the PR unit will remain independent from Publicis Worldwide.

"This alignment is not at all about merging MSLGROUP with Publicis Worldwide," he said in an internal company note. "To put it simply, Arthur Sadoun will head the two networks and leverage MSLGROUP's skills to design a new integrated approach. All this to the benefit of our clients and of our strengthened Groupe growth."