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Publicis Worldwide CEO Arthur Sadoun on why he hired AKQA's Guy Wieynk as London CEO

By Stephen Lepitak | -

Publicis London

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akqa article

May 1, 2014 | 4 min read

“I don’t think that you can transform the structure. You transform the relationship with the client, and by transforming that you are transforming the structure,” said Publicis Worldwide’s CEO Arthur Sadoun, following the appointment of Guy Wieynk as UK CEO.

Speaking to The Drum having brought in Wieynk, who left WPP digital agency AKQA in March after 16 years, Sadoun explained why he had made the appointment from a shortlist of five names.

He said that Wieynk would be tasked with ensuring it would continue to “do great work with our clients and make them understand the kind of value that we can to their business and that we transform the UK group into a truly digital partner embedded into creativity with the necessary scale”.

Wienyk, who will not take up his role until January, will oversee the Publicis UK operations including Poke, Publicis London, Publicis Chemsitry and Publicis Blueprint, as well as the operations in the Nordics.

He will also sit on the Publicis Worldwide Global Management Board, led by Sadoun.

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Sadoun revealed that it had taken six months of talks with Wienyk to land him, and that the agreement still wasn’t a done deal as late as last week.

“At Publicis Worldwide, we have a vision that is very simple. What I want to do with this network is to make sure that we are recognised by our clients as the network that helps them the most to lead their own digital revolution. It is very true to what Publicis is as a brand. We are truly entrepreneurial and client focused. If you look at our story we have always been about innovation.

"The problem with a vision like that is that you have to make sure that you have the right tools, the right expertise and the right capabilities and the right leader,” he added.

“I was looking for a leader that can truly transform our relationship with our clients in the future. The digital media evolution is something that we have implemented quite well and we are delivering good integrated campaigns. This is something that all of us are doing, sometimes better than others. The real transformation is not one that we are leading as a creative network, it is something that our clients are leading…

"If we still want to be in the race in a few years, we have to transform our network into a truly digital partner in the marketing sense for the clients. The mission of Guy is this one. He has a solid team and good capabilities, 40 per cent of our revenue in UK is already digital, but how do we help our clients to lead the change in their own digital evolution and this will be his mission?”

Wieynk also discussed his reasons for joining Publicis Worldwide with The Drum, revealing that he took the role as he wanted to run a creative business.

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