In a weekly video to his employees, Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun brought attention to the current situation in the U.S. regarding the outrage and violent protests around the death of George Floyd, a black man who died last week in Minneapolis after being pinned down by a white police officer.
"In light of these events, we owe it to all of you to put your safety and mental wellness first, and provide the support and connectivity you need to feel heard. We did not wait to do that," said Sadoun.
Last Friday, the Groupe’s Talent Engagement and Inclusion team held a call with more than 2,000 staffers about the recent "disturbing" events.
"We’ll continue to create spaces for those conversations, and act across the Groupe to build a truly inclusive environment, supported by Marcel, your talent teams and your CEOs," said Arthur in the video, adding that he wants everyone to check in on their colleagues.
In addition to addressing the protests and wellbeing of staff, Sadoun highlighted recent successes the holding company has seen through its allocation platforms developed globally with Marcel and The Bench.
"In less than two months we have already saved around 1,000 jobs in the U.S. and 800 in the rest of the world thanks to this. We are talking about roughly 2,000 teammates that we have been able to protect, because you have stayed within Publicis when you needed extra resources," he said.
Some of the examples he pointed to include Leo Burnett Chicago saving more than 100 jobs through Marcel; and Publicis Health saving 80 jobs by working with people who may not have health expertise but have "enough talent to compensate and deliver great value."
Sadoun mentions in the video that the best way to preserve the group’s agencies and talent in the future is to focus on client growth and new business, but right now, the company needs to get through the COVID-19 crisis and protect its people.
"I want to make sure that we can look back and know that we did everything we could to take a stand for our people," he said. "We still have a long way to go, but I am confident that we’ll get there together."