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Maurice Levy Announces Publicis Groupe Transformation

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Publicis Groupe CEO says new model is ‘a bit like a smartphone’

Maurice Levy Announces Publicis Groupe Transformation

Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy has announced a wholesale overhaul of the holding company’s business model in a bid to ‘break down silos’ and make all of Publicis Groupe’s capabilities available to clients.

In a video announcement, he says, “All Publicis Groupe capabilities will be available to each of our clients in a simple, flexible and efficient way. A bit like a smartphone, powered by highly sophisticatred tech and yet so easy to use.”

Mr Levy explains that the strategy of growing multiple brands has become cumbersome for clients to navigate. In the new model, the company's capabilities are arranged around four 'solutions hubs': Publicis Communications, Publicis Media, Publicis.Sapient and Publicis Healthcare. So-called Chief Client Officers will be assigned to more efficiently help clients navigate the many services under the network’s umbrella. The Chief Client Officers will be led by Laura Desmond, Global CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group, who steps into the newly created role of Groupe Chief Revenue Officer.

“What does reversing our model mean?" he asks. "Like for all our industry peers we have underpinned our growth strategies over the past decades through brands and networks – or we could say through silos. Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi, Starcom, Leo Burnett, ZenithOptimedia, DigitasLBi and so on. And the coordination of all our entities has been paramount to best serving our clients. The model has proved remarkably effective and efficient. However, some might today be under the impression that it has become too complex, that it generates useless delays, multiple points of contacts despite all over our efforts to keep this at bay. Yet, as we all know perception is reality and in our business we must change reality and not perception.”

The move also transfers extra responsibilities to leading executives within the group who form a new 'Directoire+', which will work alongside Publicis Groupe's existing 'Directoire'. Arthur Sadoun, the current CEO of Publicis Worldwide will head up Publicis Communications, consisting of creative agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, BBH, Marcel etc. ZenithOptimedia CEO Steve King will lead Publicis Media. Publicis.Sapient will be led by Alan Herrick and Publicis Healthcare will be led by Nick Colucci.

The announcement also signals a new direction for Publicis Groupe and a transition towards the future as Maurice Levy is scheduled to step down as CEO in May 2017.

Read the full official statement from Publicis Groupe below:

Supervisory Board met December 2, 2015, chaired by Elisabeth Badinter, to discuss the propositions for reorganization presented by Maurice Lévy, Chairman & CEO, with regards to the transformation of the Groupe. These propositions were approved. 

Since this past spring, Publicis Groupe began a reflection process about its transformation. Beginning with a series of brainstorming sessions with the P12 (Executive Committee), this process culminated at the end of September with a seminar in San Francisco that gathered 350 of Publicis Groupe’s leaders as well as world-class speakers, clients, digital entrepreneurs, VCs and academics. 

Businesses all over the world, no matter their industry, are continuously faced with the upheavals brought on by digital and the constant evolutions affecting our society, the way we work, communicate and consume. In order to better advise and serve its clients, Publicis Groupe has decided to radically modify its business model by putting the client at the heart of its organization. 

The idea consists of reversing its current structure, built around the concept of worldwide networks, by breaking down silos in order to offer clients the Groupe’s entire know-how and expertise through the “Power of One”: all Publicis Groupe capabilities will be available to each of its clients – in a simple, flexible and efficient way. A bit like a smartphone: powered by sophisticated technology but very easy to use. 

From now on, the Groupe will gauge its performance using a new standard: client service, led for each client by a Chief Client Officer. This person will be responsible for the entire range of services and skills the client can benefit from, no matter the discipline or the country. Whenever possible, the dedicated teams will be gathered under one roof.

 The teams of Chief Client Officers will be supervised by a Groupe Chief Revenue Officer. Laura Desmond will fulfill this newly created role. The mission will be to simplify the way clients access the range of solutions, without duplication or delay, and to accelerate the Groupe’s growth and development. Laura Desmond will also be responsible for the Groupe’s growth (new business and future developments). 

The Groupe’s disciplines will now be organized across 4 Solutions hubs available to the Chief Client Officers: 

- Publicis Communications will be led by Arthur Sadoun, Chief Executive Officer. This hub will be comprised of all creative networks: Publicis Worldwide, MSL, Nurun, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett as well as BBH and Marcel. It will also include the production hub, Prodigious. 

- Publicis Media will be led by Steve King, Chief Executive Officer, and will bring together Starcom Mediavest, ZenithOptimedia, Vivaki, Performics, MRY, Moxie or RUN and all the associated entities. All clients will benefit from the economies of scale and research efforts, key elements in this field.

 - Publicis.Sapient is a platform designed for tomorrow’s world: a world of digital platforms. Led by Alan Herrick, Chief Executive Officer, this hub includes Sapient Consulting, SapientNitro, DigitasLBi, Razorfish and all the associated entities. Clients fully benefit from R&D investments, cutting edge technology solutions and the Groupe’s leading position in e-commerce, as well as new tools that will transform their marketing approaches and their business models.

 - Publicis Healthcare led by Nick Colucci, Chief Executive Officer, is a fully integrated Health and Pharma solution. It covers all of the Groupe’s clients’ needs, from a new product launch to the transition to generic branding, including digital applications and sales force management. 

Each Brand, for instance Saatchi & Saatchi, ZenithOptimedia or DigitasLBi, will keep expanding, with its own culture and specific approach to creativity and services. The identity and the success of each of the Groupe’s brands will be preciously preserved and nurtured. 

The Groupe generates more than 90% of its revenue in about 20 countries. As a result, many other countries don’t get the attention they rightfully deserve and the Groupe footprint is often too fragmented. This is why all of these countries will now be managed through a dedicated Groupe entity, Publicis ONE, with will be led by Jarek Ziebinski, Chief Executive Officer. In the Publicis ONE countries, all entities will be reunited under one roof and one management team. This will ensure a better coordination of all client services while respecting strictly confidentiality rules. These structures will attract great talent, both through their scale and comprehensiveness. 

In order to coordinate and best take advantage of all of the Groupe’s assets, a committee will be set up in the main countries where Publicis Groupe operates. This committee will represent all solutions and will be led by a Groupe representative. The first to be put in place is a U.S. committee, and will be led by Laura Desmond. 

As a reminder, the Groupe’s governance is still made up of a Directoire that includes Maurice Lévy, Chairman & CEO; Jean-Michel Etienne, EVP – Chief Financial Officer; Anne-Gabrielle Heilbronner, General Secretary; and Kevin Roberts, Head Coach of Publicis Groupe. 

It is complemented with a “Directoire+” having exactly the same responsibilities, which is comprised of Laura Desmond, Chief Revenue Officer, Publicis Groupe; Alan Herrick, Chief Executive Officer, Publicis.Sapient; Steve King, Chief Executive Officer, Publicis Media; Arthur Sadoun, Chief Executive Officer, Publicis Communications; and Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Strategist, Publicis Groupe. The functions of these leaders, as well as those of Jarek Ziebinski, Chief Executive Officer, Publicis ONE; and Nick Colucci, Chief Executive Officer, Publicis Healthcare, will be broadened and strengthened, allowing them to fully express their skills.

 The P12 will soon be rethought in order to better adapt to the evolution of the Groupe. This organization will be effective as of January 2, 2016.

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