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Sadoun's Mantra as He Takes Helm at Publicis Groupe: 'Break, Bond, Build'

By Published on .

Arthur Sadoun, who takes over as chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe today, has made a video introducing staff to his personal mantra, "Break, bond, build," and signalling his desire for the French group to become a platform, not a holding company.

To do this, he says, Publicis groupe needs to be "the kind of agile, flat, modular, dynamic organization that will create new value not only for our clients but for everyone in our group," Sadoun says in the video.

Like his predecessor Maurice Lévy, famous in the company for his humorous annual holiday films, Sadoun appears relaxed in front of the camera.

He apologies for his "terrible French accent," which he admits is "even worse than Maurice," but continues eloquently to spell out his vision for making Publicis Groupe "futureproof."

Sadoun talks about breaking silos and fostering collaboration without "breaking the culture of our individual brands that are so precious to us." The plan, already underway, is to appoint 100 group client leaders, and to create leadership teams in the top 20 countries.

His ambition is to create a new culture around the "break, bond, build" mission. Sadoun said, "It's easy to change your structure. You do some nice powerpoints, you go to your people, you say we change this or that. No. Our biggest challenge is cultural and it's time for us to break old habits, to bond as a team at every level in our company."

In his previous role as CEO of the Publicis Communications agency division, Sadoun became known for long, encouraging internal emails about everything from restructuring to big client wins.

Sadoun signed off the video with a plea to staff. He said, "Be creative. Dare to change the rules. Be passionate about winning and count on all of our energy and commitment to support you in every step of the way. We are all here for you. Contact us, question us, don't hesitate to challenge us -- I know you will -- and help us build the future of Publicis. Merci."

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