The appointment, effective 1 September, marks a return to China for Gompel, who served in a variety of roles in China from 2003 to 2008, culminating in a stint as general manager of Publicis Modem China in 2007 and 2008. After that he returned to his native France, where he ascended the leadership ladder in Publicis Modem and Publicis Dialog, before being named global chief strategy officer for Nurun in November last year.
Leading the offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Gompel will report to Loris Nold, Publicis Worldwide's APAC CEO. He will also join the regional leadership team, while remaining a member of Publicis Worldwide’s management team.
The network in Greater China includes digital communications speciailists Nurun and Wangfan, activation and shopper marketing outfit Publicis Vivid, luxury brand business Publicis 133 and creative agencies Publicis Shanghai and Brand X, according to the company.
The network has not had a Greater China CEO since April 2014 when it parted ways with Jeffrey Yu (who memorably commented at the time that he had "moved the mountains" and would let "the French people...grow the grass").
In July 2014, the company appointed David Hunt, formerly of AKQA China, as MD for Greater China. A spokesman today said Hunt leads digital in the region.
The network said Gompel has experience leading MNCs "in their digital transformation, defining increasingly complex data-driven digital ecosystems, platforms and services to manage the new consumer journey". Clients have included AXA, BNP Paribas, Capgemini, Carrefour, Cartier, L’Oréal, Nestlé, PMU and Renault.
“Greater China is a key market for Publicis Worldwide and indeed our global clients," Arthur Sadoun, global CEO, said in a release, adding that Gompel will help the network "further capitalise on China’s incredible innovation power" and "optimise the market’s opportunities" for clients.
Nold commented that Gompel is "intimately familiar" with China's market dynamics as well as the company's teams and capabilities, and Gompel added that he is "super excited to return to China, a place I know and love".
In July, Publicis Worldwide named Chris Duffy as CEO in Beijing.