Publicis Exec Takes Top Marketing Job at Asda

Rick Bendel Named Group Marketing Director at Wal-Mart-Owned Supermarket Chain

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NEW YORK ( -- Rick Bendel, Publicis Worldwide's London-based chief operating officer, is quitting to take the top marketing job at Wal-Mart's U.K. operation, a Publicis client. Mr. Bendel will be group marketing director at Asda, the No. 2 U.K. supermarket chain Wal-Mart acquired in 1999 for $10.8 billion.
Richard Pinder will replace Mr. Bendel at the Publicis network.
Richard Pinder will replace Mr. Bendel at the Publicis network.

Mr. Bendel will be replaced at the Publicis network by Richard Pinder, president of Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett for Europe, the Middle East and Africa since 2004. Mr. Pinder, who will remain based in London, has extensive international experience. He was regional managing director for Leo Burnett in Asia for four years before moving back to his native London from Hong Kong.

Breaking the news
Publicis Groupe Chairman-CEO Maurice Levy broke the news of the management changes this morning at a meeting of the Publicis network's executive committee, called Comex. Mr. Levy also announced that a former Financial Times Group executive, Olivier Fleurot, is joining the Publicis network as executive chairman. Mr. Fleurot, 54, will chair Comex, set network strategy and help develop global client relationships. Mr. Fleurot was chief executive of the Financial Times Group from 2003 to 2006. Since June 2006, he has been the group's senior adviser, looking at how publishing and consumer behavior are influenced by the fast-paced growth of the internet.

At Asda, Mr. Bendel succeeds Richard Hodgson, who left in July just five months after he was promoted to the top marketing job. He moved to an Asda competitor, the Waitrose supermarket chain, as buying director. Wal-Mart has retained the Asda name in the U.K. but has co-branded some superstores as Asda Wal-Mart Supercentres.
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