Publicis CEO Maurice Levy to step down after 2016
Publicis Groupe SA chief executive officer (CEO) Maurice Levy will step down after 2016 following a failed $35 billion merger with peer Omnicom Group Inc. and more than 40 years at the French advertising company. Levy, 72, and Kevin Roberts, a member of the management board and chief of Publicis’s Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide unit, will stand down after 2016 accounts are approved. No successor to Levy was named in Tuesday’s statement. Publicis, the world’s third-largest ad company, is also appointing a new expanded management team to steer the Paris-based company as it increases digital operations. Publicis’s planned merger with Omnicom, which would have created the world’s largest advertising company, was abandoned in May after executives clashed over how to run the combined entity. The deal was seen as Levy’s legacy to the company after hinting in recent years he was keen to retire. Disputes over key management roles as well as tax and regulatory hurdles caused the merger to collapse almost a year after it was toasted with champagne on the Champs Elysees.
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