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Publicis Groupe new CEO outlines plans to create an agile 'platform' rather than a holding company

Publicis Groupe's new chief executive Arthur Sadoun has released a video to the company and its clients outlining his bold vision for the group to "become a platform" rather than a holding company, while outlining how he plans to bring transformation into the business.

This is Sadoun's first public statement in his first week after succeeding Maurice Lévy at the helm. He took time to praise his predecessor while also making fun of his French accent.

The CEO also talked about his vision to transform the group from "a holding company to become a platform", and described the envisioned structure as being "an agile, flat, modular dynamic organisation that would create new value for clients and everyone within the organisation."

He spoke of his belief that that group was the only company that "could reimagine the new generation of consumer brand experiences and in the same time transform our business to make sure those brand experiences are a reality".

"This will create a unique opportunity for us to be marketing transformation experts and digital business transformation experts to deliver this in an interconnected way," he said.

He continued to call on the company to "leverage our unique assets in data, media, creativity, technology and AI to deliver big ideas that will have a strong impact on how our clients engage with consumers in every dimension. That is how we will achieve our vision to become the indispensable partner of our clients in their transformation and how we will be the driving force of the market for years to come."

He also added that he envisaged Publicis going even further with its client integration.

"We need to make sure that integration is not only a buzzword but that it is a reality for us and our clients," he said. "We have already made good progress with our four solution hubs; Publicis Communications, Publicis Media, Publicis Sapient and Publicis Health."

Sadoun admitted the introduction of the new Publicis One model had been "tough" but added that he saw it as "unique" and revealed his plan to appoint more than 100 client leaders across the group to put clients at the core, while creating leadership teams across 20 countries in order "to foster even greater collaboration at local level and would be collectively responsible for acting together to review cost base and simplifying the structure".

He also said that there was a need for a change in how the group worked together and claimed the biggest challenge was cultural to build the future.

Three words he highlighted were "break", "bold" and "build", which he he said were words the company would be hearing more of and were the foundation in how it needed to act every day for client partnerships and how the company operates.

"We need to change the way we nurture, encourage, train and reward our people because everyone in our group has a role to play in our transformation." He added that in working with the management he would build the most collaborative team.

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