MSLGroup Global CEO Steps Down, Moves to Publicis Worldwide

The president of Publicis Worldwide Network will be "overseeing" MSLGroup.

Olivier Fleurot, who has served as global CEO of MSLGroup for six years, will step down to assume a role on the advertising side of the Publicis Worldwide organization.

Arthur Sadoun, an agency executive who was promoted to president of the Publicis Worldwide Network in late 2013, will now “take on direct supervision” of MSL in addition to the Publicis ad unit. The “notoriously press-shy” Sadoun–who told Digiday last week that talent retention is his agency’s biggest challenge–is widely seen as the most likely successor to Maurice Levy, the aging Publicis chief expected to (finally) retire in 2017.

From Fleurot’s internal memo:

“Today I want to share two important and exciting pieces of news with you. Maurice Lévy has decided to ask Arthur Sadoun, who has been President of Publicis Worldwide for the last 18 months, to also take responsibility for MSLGROUP’s future development.  Additionally, he has asked me to move to a corporate role, as Senior Vice President, Communication and Administration, at Publicis Groupe.  I will take care of Communication, Corporate Social Responsibility, Insurance, Real Estate and the Altair project.”

No word at the moment on whether Sadoun’s promotion means that he will effectively replace Fleurot, whether MSLGroup will seek a new global chief executive to succeed him, or whether the agency will begin responding to our various queries. (The answer to the last one is “almost certainly not.”)