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Posts Tagged ‘Steve King’

VivaKi to Spin Off into Separate Business Unit

Don’t worry, Publicis Groupe’s four-year-old VivaKi division, which includes Digitas, Razorfish, Starcom MediaVest Group ZenithOptimedia and most recently LBi, will remain within the fold but not so attached at the hip. The world’s third-largest agency holding company has announced that VivaKi will become a separate business unit, still reporting to Publicis Groupe boss Maurice Levy, but one that will now be opened to all PG agencies, in turn extending the offerings of the Nerve Center, including AOD and the Pool, to clients of Publicis Groupe and ultimately to clients outside of the Groupe.

Says Levy in a statement, “The Nerve Center has been one of the most successful accomplishments of VivaKi. Still the only operation of its kind in our industry, it brings strategic innovations to life by leveraging the collective influence of its agencies. It allows us to create world class offerings in the Center rather than building duplicate capabilities inside each agency.  Efficient innovation is its hallmark.  All CEOs and leaders will immediately engage VivaKi to leverage its products and services, and to create blueprints for new tools and technologies that will make us stronger, more efficient and more imaginative partners to our clients.”

As far as leadership goes, VivaKi CEO Jack Klues is phasing out of his position at the agency after 35 years as he plans to retire at the end of this year (can’t blame him), though he will stay on through the first half of 2013 to ease the transition. The new VivaKi unit’s executive will consist of SMG CEO Laura Desmond, Razorfish CEO Bob Lord, current VivaKi CFO Frank Voris and ZenithOptimedia’s chief exec, Steve King.

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Publicis Groupe Takes Full Ownership of BBH

Tis a busy post-July 4th for Publicis Groupe as Maurice Levy and his France-based holding company have now acquired the remaining 51 percent stake from BBH founders Nigel Bogle and Sir John Hegarty as well as 100 percent of the shares of Brazilian agency Neogama/BBH.

Publicis Groupe originally acquired a 49 percent stake in BBH 10 years ago when it bought up Bcom3. Regarding the full sale of his 30-year-old agency, which just racked up 21 Cannes Lions this year, BBH’s Bogle says in a statement, “The decision was very clear. We were looking for an opportunity that would ensure that our agency maintained a high degree of autonomy and could continue to abide by the values characterized by the black sheep. The key point for us was the preservation of our operational independence in managing the BBH brand, which has produced almost uninterrupted growth for thirty years. The new ownership not only ensures our autonomy, but brings us considerable advantages through Publicis Groupe’s resources and global infrastructure.”

As a result of the transaction, Hegarty will now pass the baton to Neogama founder Alexandre Gama, who will take over as worldwide CCO. In addition, 30-year BBH vet Simon Sherwood will now assume the role of group chairman, Gwyn Jones, who joined the agency in 1987, becomes group CEO while Zag chief exec Neil Munn will take on the dual role of group chief operating officer. As for Hegarty and Bogle, the founding pair will serve on the Publicis Groupe management board (along with Levy, Sherwood, Jean-Yves Naouri, Jean-Michel Etienne and ZenithOptimedia global CEO Steve King), focusing on client business and mentoring of management. Gwyn Jones, meanwhile, will oversee day-to-day operations for BBH’s global management team.