Publicis Groupe Names Arthur Sadoun CEO, Surprises No One

By Patrick Coffee 

Today Publicis Groupe did what all expected them to do by naming Arthur Sadoun as the successor to Maurice Levy just over a year after he introduced the world to Publicis Communications, the unit he has led since the first business day of 2016.

The press release announcing its leadership as of June 1, 2017 is long and not too terribly compelling, but it does include some key lines like, “the Groupe is rich with talent, leaving no need to search for an external candidate.”

Sadoun will become chairman and CEO in about five months, overseeing the whole board and all of its umbrella organizations. Publicis Media CEO Steve King will also join the board along with  EVP/CFO Jean-Michel Etienne and secretary general Anne-Gabrielle Heilbronner. Levy will become chairman of the supervisory board, so he will probably never completely leave Publicis.

What will change? Not too much, it seems.

The holding company will continue with the “Power of One” approach that involves drawing people from several different agencies to pitch/handle single accounts. They already credit this philosophy with the recent USAA, Walmart and MillerCoors retail wins here in the states.

“Leading the company founded by visionary Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet and made into a global communications leader by Maurice Lévy is an immense honor and an incredible challenge,” Sadoun said. “A challenge that I’ll meet with open arms, thanks to the continued contribution of Maurice’s wisdom and experience, and the support of Steve King, the Management Board and the talented individuals who make up Publicis Groupe.”

Death to all silos.