Maurice Levy reaffirms search for successor will begin in November to be named by February

Maurice Levy

Publicis Groupe chief executive Maurice Levy has reaffirmed the search for his successor will begin in November to be named by February at the latest.

This certifies what Publicis outlined in its Q2 numbers announcement in July.

At a Goldman Sachs media conference in New York on Tuesday (20 September), Levy also confirmed his retirement date is set for 20 May 2017, the MediaPost reported.

His relinquishment of the chief executive role will not necessarily be the end of his run at the holding group, telling attendees of the conference he will “probably” play a role.

“What kind of role? Maybe doorman,” he joked.

In his July presentation to analysts, Lévy said that the Groupe was "for the time being… working only on internal candidates".

Arthur Sadoun, who was elevated to chief executive of the Publicis Worldwide network in mid-2013, and put in charge of all the creative networks (Publicis, Saatchis and Leo Burnett) as chief executive of the new Publicis Communications division in a major re-organisation at the end of 2015, is considered the most likely candidate to succeed Levy.

At the conference, Levy did little to fuel speculation about his successor, saying only the company will be in good hands when he steps down: “We will have a good succession. We have great talent and I feel personally very comfortable.”

Correction: this story was changed after The Drum incorrectly reported that Levy had hinted at the Goldman Sachs conference that his successor may be named as early as November.

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