Publicis Groupe undertakes regional restructuring in the U.S.
Certain offices of creative agencies will be split into three zones, each led by a new chief
Certain offices of creative agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett will be split into three zones: east, west and center, each led by a new chief.
Publicis Groupe is undertaking two new phases of its ongoing restructuring that has seen the holding company build out its “Power of One” model first introduced by former Chairman and CEO Maurice Levy in 2015. The latest rounds of reorganization will be rolled out in the U.S. only.
The first phase reorganizes Publicis Communications U.S. agencies—those include the creative networks Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, BBH and Publicis—into three zones: east, west and center. Each zone has been appointed a chief executive, although not every organization housed inside Publicis Communications U.S. has been placed into a zone.
Andrew Bruce will become CEO of Publicis Communications West, which encompasses Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles and Dallas; Team One L.A. and Dallas; Conill L.A. and Dallas; Publicis Seattle; and Publicis Hawkeye in Dallas. Bruce maintains his current position of CEO of Publicis Communications North America.
Andrew Swinand becomes CEO of Publicis Communications Center and retains his role of CEO for Leo Burnett North America. Under his remit is Leo Burnett Chicago and Detroit; Arc in Chicago; Martin Retail Group in Birmingham, Alabama; Fallon in Minneapolis, and Turner Duckworth.
Jem Ripley will be returning to the holding company as CEO of Publicis Communications East which spans Publicis New York; Saatchi & Saatchi New York; P&G One in New York and Cincinnati, Ohio; Rokkan in New York; and Saatchi X in Arkansas and Cincinnati.
Ripley hails from French consulting firm Capgemini where he led the digital transformation business for North America. Before that, he spent a decade as president of the east region for SapientRazorfish (which has been folded into Publicis Sapient).
Ripley will also be responsible for Publicis Sapient’s marketing transformation business and its respective clients in the U.S., which will be repositioned under Publicis Communications. Publicis Sapient maintains the digital business transformation capabilities of the holding company.
Production shop Harbor; Prodigious, which covers data and analytics; commerce expert Qorvis; public relations firm MSL; and creative network BBH remain under Publicis Communications but were not placed into specific zones, although the reason behind that decision is unclear.
Publicis Groupe Chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun was not available for further comment.
Bruce, Swinand and Ripley will all report to Sadoun, who praised in a statement the hiring of Ripley as well as of Liz Taylor, the chief creative officer of Publicis Communications U.S. and Leo Burnett Worldwide, as a showing of the company's creative dominance. Ad Age first reported that Taylor would be joining Publicis in May from her position as FCB Chicago's chief creative officer. She officially started the new gig this week.
“Our creative leaders across our agencies are better placed than ever to bring modern creativity in all of its forms to our clients across North America,” Sadoun said.
Still, the leadership shifts in the U.S. follow the impending departure of Publicis Groupe Chief Creative Officer Nick Law, who Ad Age first reported will be leaving in September to join Apple.
The second phase of this reorganization follows the closing of Publicis’ $4 billion acquisition of data-marketing giant Epsilon. With Epsilon now at the core of the company, Publicis set up an executive committee chaired by Sadoun that will help integrate it into the daily operations of its other four hubs: Publicis Communications, Publicis Media, Publicis Sapient and Publicis Health. (Those “solution hubs” were set up during the initial phase of restructuring under Levy.)
“Our clients are feeling pressure from e-commerce platforms, walled gardens and fierce competition from [direct-to-consumer] brands,” Sadoun said in a statement. “We are now uniquely positioned in the U.S. with the right model, assets and team to bring data, creativity and technology together and help clients transform and strike back.”
Publicis Groupe's U.S. executive committee members are Taylor; Publicis Media Americas CEO Tim Jones; Epsilon CEO Bryan Kennedy; Ros King, executive VP of global clients; Steve King, chief operating officer of Publicis Groupe and CEO of Publicis Media; Publicis Group North America Chief Financial Officer Adrian Sayliss; Publicis Groupe Chief Strategy Officer Carla Serrano; and Publicis Sapient CEO Nigel Vaz.