Publicis is the latest holding company to suspend its operations, engagement and investment in Russia due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
In a video shared with Publicis employees today, CEO Arthur Sadoun confirmed the decision and said the holding company will be handing over control of its Russian operations to Sergey Koptev, founding chairman of Publicis in Russia, with the “clear contractual condition of securing a future” for employees there.
“Since the start of the invasion, we have been working on exiting Russia as we strongly condemn the unilateral aggression against Ukraine," Sadoun said in a statement. “We were committed to taking strong actions that fully respond to the gravity of the situation. But we were determined to take the necessary time to come up with a solution that was truly people-first, because our 1,200 employees in Russia are our people too. We couldn’t just abandon them. By ceding control of our Russian operations to Sergey, we are securing a future path for our colleagues while immediately stopping all of our operations, engagement and investment in Russia."
Publicis declined to comment beyond its press release and video.
Some Publicis entities with offices in Russia include Starcom, Publicis Commerce and Zenith, according to their websites. Clients listed for Publicis Commerce in Russia include Procter & Gamble, beauty brand Coty, Heineken and appliance company Electrolux. Last week, Heineken halted its operations in Russia and P&G reduced the scale of its operations in the country.
In the video, Sadoun “condemned” the war and addressed what the holding company is doing to support its 350 Ukraine employees, beyond its salary guarantee for the rest of the year.