Publicis Communications CEO Arthur Sadoun has been named chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, effective June 1. Current CEO Maurice Lévy will become chairman of the holding company’s supervisory board.
Sadoun, 45, has been the obvious choice to succeed Lévy for months. Beginning last year, he spearheaded the reorganization of Publicis Groupe into discrete hubs and led the implementation of the "Power of One" strategy, which offers clients access to resources from across the holding company.
"I’m taking on this new role with confidence, determination and one objective in mind: accelerating our transformation and development through The Power of One to continue to make Publicis shine like [founder] Marcel [Bleustein-Blanchet] and Maurice have done for the past 90 years," Sadoun said in a statement.
Publicis Media CEO Steve King will join the company’s management board, which is overseen by Sadoun. Current board members also include Jean-Michel Etienne, EVP CFO and Anne-Gabrielle Heilbronner, secretary general.
Sadoun’s qualifications precluded the need to search for Lévy's replacement outside Publicis, according to Elisabeth Badinter, chair of the supervisory board and president of the nominating committee. "The highly respected professional qualities of Arthur Sadoun, his unique understanding of clients and their needs, his accomplishments both during his time at Publicis Groupe and before, and his human qualities, all make him the prime candidate," Badinter said in a statement.
Industry speculation has long held that Sadoun was the 74-year-old Lévy's choice to succeed him, and that sentiment seemed well-supported by Lévy's comments in a statement from Publicis Groupe, as well as in one of Levy's trademark video announcements. "I am extremely happy with this choice, which is the most appropriate and judicious for the future of our Groupe, and congratulate Arthur warmly," Lévy said. "It’s not just any choice, it’s a measured and well thought out choice that opens new doors for the future of our amazing Groupe."