UPDATED: Big Changes at Publicis

By Patrick Coffee 

Some French dudeIn case you haven’t seen it already this morning, The Publicis Groupe officially rewarded Maurice Levy for his failure today by extending the current chief executive’s role until (approximately) The Avengers 3.

Despite the fact that Levy assured The Guardian that he would “not be seeking a new term” in the halcyon days of 2010 and that other reports had him set to leave next year, it seems that Levy will stick around at least until the approval of all accounts at the end of 2016 — and that he will leave in early 2017.

Obviously, “No clear successor has been appointed to replace Levy.”


Two former candidates will definitely not be replacing him, though.

  • Current Saatchi & Saatchi global CEO Kevin Roberts will follow Levy out the door
  • COO/Publicis Worldwide leader Jean-Yves Naouri is also leaving; the “when” in his case is less clear, though the language tells us “soon”

The holding company also promoted several agency people to new roles on its management board:

  • Starcom MediaVest CEO Laura Desmond
  • ZenithOptimiedia chief Steve King
  • Publicis Worldwide exec Arthur Sadoun, who succeeded Naouri
  • Chief strategist Rishad Tobaccowala

The big news on the agency front concerns Rosetta and Razorfish, which will now become one under the Razorfish Global heading. Both shops went through a thinning of the herd this Spring/Summer, with Rosetta shuffling its executives and Razorfish letting a series of employees go across its North American offices.

Tom Adamski, the former Level president/CEO who landed atop Rosetta two years after its Publicis acquisition, will lead the new entity and report directly to Levy; related stories do not mention current Razorfish global CEO Pete Stein.

UPDATE: Today we received word from Rosetta that, while the agency and other digital shops will now live under the Razorfish Global name, all the units in that group will still be operationally independent.

“…the new Razorfish Global network will be comprised of the Razorfish, Rosetta, LEVEL Studios and Denuo brands, and portions of the Groupe’s latest acquisition, Nurun. Each of these Razorfish Global network agencies will remain separate, while benefitting from the global footprint of the new agency network.”