Tobaccowala Shifts to VivaKi Role

Rishad Tobaccowala is shifting from running Publicis Groupe’s innovations unit Denuo to a broader role across VivaKi.
Tobaccowala founded Denuo as a futures consultancy within Publicis in February 2006. The 25-person unit, which focuses on areas like social media, gaming and digital retail, is being aligned with Digitas and Razorfish. Denuo execs will report to Digitas CEO Laura Lang.
Tobaccowala will work across VivaKi’s units that include Digitas, Razorfish, Starcom MediaVest Group and Zenith Optimedia. He described the change as an effort to bring both Denuo and himself to more clients.
“I can operate across the board,” he said. “They can leverage me more broadly. In order to do that, I need to have some of my responsibilities eased in some way.”
Tobaccowala said he would continue to work with Denuo clients, too.
The move is part of a restructuring in the wake of Publicis’ $531 million acquisition of Razorfish. Publicis is combining back-office and real estate operations for the two agencies while maintaining their separate brands. Razorfish and Digitas will share finance and human resources departments, for instance. Outside of the U.S., the two shops will share real estate, technology and research and development.
Tobaccowala will continue to report to VivaKi managing partners Jack Klues and David Kenny.