UPDATE: Nothing to see here. After the quoted lines, below Levy told the crowd at Goldman Sachs that the Publicis board will START succession proceedings in November, with Levy’s retirement still scheduled for February 2017: “And regarding succession, the Board will start mid-November, end of November, latest will be announcement in February and we will have a good succession.”
Last night MediaPost (!) reported on a Goldman Sachs media conference in New York at which Maurice Levy told attendees that he might name his successor as Publicis Groupe’s global chief as early as November even though he’s not supposed to retire until next May.
Who will it be? He’s not giving any hints. But he is making some jokes!
“Should I play a role or not? Probably yes. What kind of role? Maybe doorman. The uniform is beautiful and that is what people are probably expecting of me.”
Addressing the holding company’s recent losses, especially on the media side, he admitted that Publicis has yet to make up for that missing revenue. As evidence of a comeback, he cited the HP Enterprise win we broke last month, but that client only spent $13.6 million in the first quarter of this year, so it’s not quite P&G.
Now who will replace him, again? Lots of people are saying Arthur Sadoun, though Campaign also floats Steve King of Publicis Media and Allan Herrick of Sapient.Nitro. (It’s going to be Sadoun. Calling it now, so put us down for $3.50.)
We also hear of some fairly big internal changes coming to the Publicis Communications organization … but something tells us you will be disappointed anyway.