Publicis Groupe may announce a new chief executive officer in November according to incumbent Maurice Levy, who intends to retire on 20 May 2017.
However, Levy made comments in New York on 20 September that suggest he will maintain a role at the holding company. “Should I play a role or not? Probably yes,” Levy said at a Goldman Sachs media conference, as reported by MediaPost. “What kind of role? Maybe doorman. The uniform is beautiful and that is what people are probably expecting of me,” he joked.
It is suspected that Levy’s successor will be appointed internally, with Publicis Worldwide chief executive officer Arthur Sadoun considered a front runner. Although Levy didn’t name names, he said the company has great talent and he felt “personally very comfortable” that it will be in good hands after his departure.
Commenting on last year’s account losses, which included Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble, he accepted that, despite some big wins since, the damage has yet to be off-set. “Clients are attracted to newness,” he added. “You have to win it again and again and renew your services and approach.”
On the recent reorganisation, Levy commented that it was in response to comments from clients and has so far seen client satisfaction increase “big time”. He also commented that the group was mostly “totally transparent” with regard to programmatic, despite some clients only being interested in the price being right.
It was previously assumed that Levy’s successor would be named in February 2017 ahead of the group’s annual meeting in Paris in May.