Ad giant Publicis Groupe has named top boss Maurice Levy's sucessor

Lynsey Barber
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Arthur Sadoun (left) will be handed the Publicis Groupe reigns by Maurice Levy (Source: Publicis Groupe)

The French advertising giant Publicis Groupe has named a successor to long-standing top dog Maurice Levy.

Arthur Sadoun, a Publicis insider, will take over as chief executive and chairman at the firm from 1 June. He comes from leading the group's creative agencies under Publicis Communications, which include Saatchi & Saatchi and BBH.

The nominating committee said there was no need to search for an external candidate for the job as the group "is rich with talent".

Levy will join the supervisory board as chairman at the behest of the board to provide guidance to Sadoun, subject to shareholder approval.

At the same time the boss of Publicis Media, which oversees media agencies Starcom and Zenith, Steve King will join the management board.

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44-year-old Sadoun was named Advertising Age's agency executive of the year in 2016. Sadoun will have the large boots to fill: Levy first joined the company in 1971 and has led it for 30 years.

Levy announced his plans to step down following the failed multibillion pound merger with rival Omnicom, which would have created the world's biggest marketing firm, overtaking Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP.

Here's what Levy had to say about his successor:

"First of all, I'd like to warmly congratulate Arthur. I am extremely happy with this choice, which is the most appropriate and judicious for the future of our Groupe, and congratulate Arthur warmly. It's not just any choice, it's a measured and well thought out choice that opens new doors for the future of our amazing Groupe.

"I have known Arthur for many years. We have worked very closely together. He is a seasoned professional with an inspiring vision of our industry and of our clients' needs. He knows them well, he understands them well and he knows how to deliver the solutions and services they need to grow, develop and transform by selecting the best talent.

"He has the intelligence, the energy and the passion necessary to master our trade in a connected world that is changing and evolving constantly. He's also a man with admirable human qualities. It is all this together that will drive him, with the help of his team, to lead the Groupe on the path to success and to rise above any obstacle. In handing him the 'keys to the future', (as Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, the founder of Publicis said to me) the supervisory board has made an excellent choice. I have every confidence."

Levy is well known for making amusing end of year Christmas videos. Publicis did not say whether Sadoun will follow in his footsteps with the tradition. Watch below...

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