Publicis in management shake-up

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Sadoun: potential successor
Sadoun: potential successor

The book is now open again on who will succeed Maurice Lévy as the chairman of Publicis Groupe, and exactly when that successor will be required, after the company made a number of leadership changes this week.

Most intriguing, when it comes to the question of succession, was the quiet removal of the former favourite Jean-Yves Naouri, Publicis Groupe’s chief operating officer, who plays no part in the new management structure. Arthur Sadoun, the Publicis Worldwide chief executive, is now widely seen as a front runner to replace Lévy.

Sadoun, along with Starcom MediaVest Group’s global chief executive, Laura Desmond, ZenithOptimedia’s global chief executive, Steve King, and Publicis Groupe’s chief strategist, Rishad Tobaccowala, have all been elevated to the group’s Directoire leadership board.

Meanwhile, Lévy has extended his mandate to 2017, overturning his pledge earlier this year to quit in 2015. Kevin Roberts, the chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi, will also step down in 2017 and, from the beginning of 2015, hand over control of the network to Robert Senior, currently its EMEA chief executive.

The group is also merging its Razorfish and Rosetta digital agencies under the Razorfish name and plans to "extend its leadership in the digital sphere and enrich its offerings by creating new services, either by organic growth or acquisitions, notably in the realm of technology".

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