More Changes at Publicis PR Agency Network MSLGroup as NA President Exits

Exit Closely Follows Restructure That Moved the PR Agency Under the Watch of Creative Agency Boss Arthur Sadoun

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Paul Newman
Paul Newman

Paul Newman, North American president of Publicis Groupe PR agency network MSLGroup, has stepped down, the company said.

The move comes a year and a half after Mr. Newman joined the company from his communications post at Ebay, and only a month since holding company Publicis moved MSLGroup under the purview of Arthur Sadoun, global CEO of creative agency Publicis Worldwide.

"In order to be closer to his family that is based in Boston, Paul Newman, president of North America, has decided to leave the company," said Olivier Fleurot, global CEO of the PR network, in an email to employees. "His last day is today, August 3. [MSL CFO] Peter Miller will serve as interim president until a new leadership plan is announced for North America."

In the email, forwarded by an MSL spokesman, he also said the recent structural change has nothing to do with Mr. Newman's departure.

MSLGroup houses a few PR shops, including corporate and crisis shop Kekst & Co., experiential agency PBJS and public-affairs and shop QorvisMSL, as well as the core namesake shop MSL.

The network has had its fair share of senior churn over the past few years. Mr. Newman succeeded Renee Wilson, who took charge of the group in 2012. Ms. Wilson had overseen the Procter & Gamble account, among others, as chief client officer, before succeeding Jim Tsokanos, the former president who left amid a class-action gender discrimination suit. In early 2014, Mr. Newman replaced Ms. Wilson, and Ms. Wilson moved back into her chief client role.

The company's digital and social director, Stephanie Agresta, also left the company last month.

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