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Publicis Groupe’s Laura Desmond steps down

Publicis Groupe chief revenue officer has resigned from the network. This follows her leave of absence since July due to a significant family health matter, according to a press statement.

During the time of her leave, her responsibilities were handled by Rishad Tobaccowala, who will continue in this role as strategy and growth officer of Publicis Groupe. He is also a member of the Directoire+ of Publicis Groupe.

Desmond was first appointed into the role in December 2015, and was responsible for transforming the Groupe business. In addition, she led the Groupe’s global client leaders. Prior to her current role, Desmond served as global CEO of Starcom Mediavest Group, where she nurtured relationships with clients such as Samsung, Bank of America, Visa, Coca-Cola, Airbnb and Twitter.

Meanwhile, Tobaccowala was previously the chief strategist of Publicis Groupe, and before that the chairman of DigitasLBi and of Razorfish. He was also the chief strategy and innovation officer of VivaKi. He also helped grow, founded/co-founded or incubated a variety of companies including Leo Burnett, Starcom, SMG Next, Starcom IP, Giant Step, Play, and Denuo.

“We are all very grateful to Desmond for her many important contributions to Publicis Groupe and are sorry to see her go. I know that Laura will continue to be as incredibly successful in the future as she has been with us. With my colleagues of the Management Board we wish her only the very best,” Maurice Levy, chairman and CEO, Publicis Groupe, said.

“I am very grateful to Maurice Levy and everyone at Publicis Groupe for their support during my leave. The family health issue is significantly better. This sabbatical allowed me to consider where my greatest entrepreneurial and leadership opportunity existed. After thoughtful reflection and discussions with Levy, I have concluded this is the right step for me. I leave the Groupe with nothing but thanks and appreciation for the opportunities and support I’ve received throughout my career and during my leave,” Desmond said.

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