Publicis Groupe has insisted that talk of Leo Burnett chief executive Tom Bernardin leaving the company is just “silly rumours”, and that the company is not currently seeking a replacement.
The comes a month after a raft of moves at Publicis, which saw chief operating officer Jean-Yves Naouri step down.
Prior to this announcement, Naouri had been considered a candidate for taking over the reins at Publicis, after Maurice Levy said that he would stand down in the coming years.
The changes also saw Kevin Roberts, chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi taking on a new role—executive chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi/Fallon and “head coach” of Publics Groupe.
But Publicis insists that Bernardin – who joined Leo Burnett from Lowe & Partners as chief executive for United States operations and president for worldwide operations in 2004 – is not set to leave.
The appointment of Bernardin had been a surprise a decade ago, as Leo Burnett was known for appointing from within.