In a recent interview with Campaign, Publicis CEO Maurice Levy emphasised that even though he’s been “a good soldier,” he’s ready to retire.
It’s no secret that the 71-year-old advertising powerhouse wants to step down.
Levy was set to retire on December 31, 2011, when Ad Age reported that high ranking members of the Publicis board begged him to stay.
“To the question put to me by the supervisory board, I said that I would stay on board as long as needed,” he said in a statement in 2010. “I will make sure the transition happens when the time is right.”
Three years later, the time still isn’t right.
Levy told Campaign that he is ready to go but isn’t the one who can set the date:
“It’s not unfortunately my decision. It’s also the decision of the board. The board has started to look at the succession plan and is working on it and I’m confident the board will make the right decision at the right time. Anyway, it’s my last dance.”
“I have told them [the Publicis board] that I would like to leave and they have said ‘OK, we are taking care of the solution, take care of the business for the time being.'”
“I am waiting for their decision. I’m a good soldier. I have been with the company for more than 40 years and they’re asking me to stay a little, to give time for them to make the right decision. Anyway, we should not think of a solution that will emerge as one providential man, or woman, what is important is a team and we have great teams, fantastic people and I’m very proud of that.”
WPP CEO Martin Sorrell and Interpublic CEO Michael Roth are also around Levy’s ages, so the near future might hold a power vacuum at upper echelons of the advertising elite.
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