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Publicis Groupe proposes changes to its governance structure

Publicis Groupe proposes changes to its governance structure

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Publicis Groupe has proposed changes to its governance structure, which will see the merger of its supervisory and management boards.

To further support the company’s dynamic, and the leadership teams behind it, and in anticipation of the end of his mandate in 2025, Maurice Lévy, chairman of the supervisory board, submitted to the Groupe’s governing bodies a proposal to change the company’s governance. 

This change would see the company shift from a dual structure corporation with a supervisory board and management board (Directoire), and instead adopt the more widespread model of a single-structure corporation with a board of directors. 

This aims to preserve the driving forces behind the Groupe’s success and maintain the model that has made Publicis the industry’s most valuable company in terms of market capitalisation, according to Arthur Sadoun, who would become the chairman and CEO of the board.

Sadoun's appointment would be accompanied by the creation of the role of lead director, and the reinforcement of the board’s committees, as part of a well-balanced governance model and in line with AFEP-MEDEF guidelines. 

Meanwhile, Lévy, chairman of the supervisory board, will transition to the role of chairman emeritus in order for the Groupe to continue to benefit from his insight, experience, and leadership.  

In addition to attending board meetings, Lévy would preside over a mixed group of board members and executives, with a clear focus on innovation and foresight.  

Following a lengthy and rigorous process, the supervisory board unanimously approved the proposal, which will be subject to a vote by shareholders during the upcoming annual general meeting on 29 May 2024, according to the release.  

Publicis Groupe has a long history of anticipating change and transforming itself to face the future” said Lévy. “The primary responsibility of any board is to ensure that a company has both the governance structure and the teams it needs to lead it forward. With this in mind, I proposed changing the governance of the Groupe in order to put in place a board of directors, with Sadoun as chairman and CEO. It’s the most effective way of maintaining the Groupe’s success, now and in the long term.” 

“I’m delighted that the Supervisory Board was unanimous in its approval of this change, and confident that our shareholders will give it their support, seeing it as the means of preserving and perpetuating the outstanding results that have taken our group to new heights,” he added. 

Sadoun added: “It will also allow us to continue the duo that we have formed with Lévy since 2017, which has seen Publicis extract itself from the pack and emerge as a clear leader in our sector. The continuity of our partnership, combined with the incredible talent of our teams around the world and our best-in-class capabilities make us more confident than ever in our ability to help our clients transform and thrive in this ever-changing environment, and drive even greater value and innovation for all of our stakeholders. For those reasons, I hope that our shareholders will support this proposal.

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