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Publicis CEO Maurice Levy on Kevin Roberts’ Exit: Highest Levels Set a Example

Publicis CEO Maurice Levy on Kevin Roberts’ Exit: Highest Levels Set a Example

Credit: Ari Mintz/courtesy 4As

Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy on Wednesday sent out a company-wide email acknowledging a depart of Saatchi Chairman Kevin Roberts, with whom he had “worked amicably together for 16 years,” before a house could confirm his fate.

The memo follows Mr. Roberts’ argumentative statements around gender diversity, and his resignation days later. “The Supervisory Board and a Chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe took note of Kevin Robert’s preference to step down with outcome from Sep 1st 2016, before to his retirement date due in May 2017,” a holding association pronounced in a statement.

Mr. Levy pronounced in his memo that Mr. Roberts’ comments were “unacceptable”:

You are all wakeful of a new occurrence ensuing from statements done by Kevin Roberts that led me to postpone him from his functions, available a final preference of a Supervisory Board.

Kevin motionless to renounce from all of his duties as of Sep 1, 2016, but watchful for a Supervisory Board to meet.

I am unequivocally contemptible that Kevin done a unsuitable comments that led him to betimes finish his partnership with a Groupe. It creates me that most sadder given that we worked really closely and amicably together for 16 years. Kevin also severely contributed to a Groupe, quite via a early years when he assimilated a Groupe. Unfortunately, a sobriety of his difference can't be tolerated, and even reduction so from a member of a Management Board. We can usually design that a top turn of a Groupe set a instance on a beliefs and values by blameless debate and actions.

I wish Kevin a best, and in particular, as he pronounced it himself, to learn from this hapless incident.

Maurice Lévy

Mr. Levy himself done controversial statements during his keynote during a 4A’s Transformation discussion progressing this year.

While 4A’s President-CEO Nancy Hill pronounced group executives contingency quarrel harder for gender equality, a prohibited subject given a lawsuit that forced JWT’s tellurian CEO from his post, Mr. Levy downplayed gender discrimination. “I don’t trust what happened during JWT is an instance of what’s function in a industry,” Mr. Levy pronounced during a QA with New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg after his keynote. “It’s a one-time mistake, a outrageous mistake, a outrageous fault. But it’s not a satisfactory illustration of a industry.”

He fast clarified his position.

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