Publicis Group Chief Data Officer Announces His Exit After 13 Years

Jason Kodish says he tried quitting 4 times in the past 5 years

Jason Kodish (middle) speaks onstage during a 2016 Advertising Week New York event. Getty Images
Headshot of Lindsay Rittenhouse

Publicis Groupe chief data officer Jason Kodish announced his resignation today in a lengthy all-staff email he seemingly copied and pasted into a public LinkedIn post.

Kodish starts the email warning his colleagues that it will be a “long one” but not the “farewell email that you expect from me,” void of any “f-bombs or inappropriate stories chock full of malapropisms.”

He then goes on to reveal that over the past five years, he has tried leaving Publicis four times but always ended up staying. Kodish first joined Publicis-owned Digitas in 2006, where he most recently served as global chief data scientist before he was repositioned last year as chief data officer of the holding company’s newest hub, Publicis Spine, which handles data assets, tech and talent.

The formation of Spine was part of a massive restructuring Publicis kicked off in 2016.

It is unclear what Kodish plans on doing next, and he did not return a request for comment.

“During the 13 years that Jason has been with Digitas, and with Publicis Groupe, his influence and impact on our organization and clients are immeasurable,” a Publicis spokeswoman said in a statement sent to Adweek.

The spokeswoman said Publicis does not know where Kodish is going next but is looking for his successor.

“So, nearly 13 years…and today is my last day at Digitas…within Publicis,” Kodish wrote in his resignation email. “As many of you know, before this latest decision to separate, I have quit four times in the past five years…but I have never left the building. I stayed.”

He then explained why he stayed in the past: the people he considers family, the influence he had within the agency group and the “amazing work” the network was putting out. Kodish then added he is confident leaving his team now believing they will be left in good hands.

“I leave knowing that you don’t need me for you to do amazing work…you don’t [need] me for you to create and to re-invent…that you don’t need me for you to be amazing because it was the people on my team…the people in my orbit that helped me do amazing work…to create and re-invent…to be amazing,” Kodish wrote.

Kodish ended the memo with 10 “key points” he said he “would beg you to embrace,” reminding employees to “always reinvent” themselves, “have passion or leave,” take risks and even “steal from others,” as long as they “make it yours,” too.

@kitten_mouse Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.