Publicis’ Pinder Explains Departure: ‘I’d Like to Reconnect With Normal Life’

After 25 years working in the advertising industry, outgoing Publicis Worldwide Chief Operating Officer Richard Pinder says he is ready to take a break. “I’ve spent every moment focusing on making Publicis Worldwide the company it is today. The only sun tan I’ve had was before I started at the company. I’d like to reconnect with normal life,” Pinder told Adweek.
His vacation starts today. Yesterday, Publicis Groupe made the surprise announcement that Pinder had stepped down from Publicis Worldwide’s top spot. Publicis Groupe Chief Operating Officer Jean-Yves Naouri will fill Pinder’s shoes, and become Publicis Worldwide’s chief executive chairman as well. This new position places Naouri that much closer to succeeding Maurice Lévy as head of the Groupe—a role that Naouri was already seen as being poised to take.  
Lévy confirmed as much in an interview with the Financial Times, saying that Naouri “is clearly in a leading position for winning the race” to succeed him.
In the statement that announced his departure, Pinder said he was leaving because he has “a whole new ambition to realize” and referenced “fresh challenges.” When pressed by Adweek for details, however, he said there was nothing specific in the works. However, he emphasized his continued excitement for advertising. Pinder told Adweek: “The tools to communicate with clients and consumers have never been greater.”