Publicis Groupe has promoted Loris Nold, the EMEA chief executive, to global chief financial officer, replacing Michel-Alain Proch, who is leaving after three years for an undisclosed new role.
Demet Ikiler, who joined from WPP at the start of 2023 as chief operating officer of EMEA, will step up to replace Nold as CEO of EMEA.
The UK previously reported its financial numbers to Nold in his EMEA role. It will now report directly to Arthur Sadoun, the global chief executive, after Proch formally steps down as CFO in February 2024.
The US already reported directly to Sadoun and France and the UK will do the same because all three markets act as global hubs for clients, Publicis Groupe said.
Proch is leaving after a three-year period when France’s Publicis Groupe has been the best performer of the big six global agency groups in terms of organic growth and profit margin, with the UK particularly strong.
Proch had not worked in the advertising industry before Publicis appointed him in November 2020. By contrast, Nold has worked at Publicis Groupe for more than two decades.
Nold took on the new role of EMEA CEO in September 2022 as part of a move to boost Publicis Groupe’s capabilities across the region. He has been spending increasing time in London as part of a plan to use the UK as a ‘platform’ for growth.
He previously worked in APAC and the US and was an investment banker at Lehman Brothers early in his career.
“Nold’s appointment will further enhance the group’s financial function by bringing a unique blend of financial expertise, operational insight and understanding of client needs,” Publicis Groupe said, pointing to his earlier time in banking and experience of overseeing M&A for the agency group.
Sadoun said: “Loris is truly one of a kind: an operational leader who combines intimate knowledge of our capabilities and geographies with a firm grounding in financial expertise.
“He has been one of my closest partners in Publicis’ transformation, and I’m delighted that he will bring his strategic thinking and business mindset to our global finance teams, to continue to outperform the market on growth and deliver industry-leading financial KPIs.”
It was understood, there was always a plan for Ikiler, a former country chair of WPP in Turkey and EMEA CEO of Group M, to step up to become CEO of Publicis Groupe in EMEA. Her focus will be on capabilities, connectivity within the group, and clients.
Sadoun said: “Demet is one of the industry’s most experienced and respected leaders, and as Loris’ partner in the EMEA region over the year, she naturally takes this next step within our group.
“She will work hand in hand with our managers in the region to continue to drive excellence across our best-in-class data, creative, media and technology assets.”
Following Ikiler’s appointment, “the global hubs of France and the UK will be reporting, like the US, directly to Arthur Sadoun”, Publicis Groupe added.