The CEO of Publicis instructed us how he stared down a livid inside insurrection to wager the future of his $11 billion business on artificial intelligence

Arthur Sadoun takes a break at the VivaTech conference in Paris on the initiate day for,Marcel.” Jim Edwards

RIS — Publicis Groupe’s new CEO, Arthur Sadoun, is sitting on the ground in a depressing corner of the cavernous Porte de Versailles convention venue in Paris, and he looks grateful to be off his feet.

it be a sunny day in Paris and the outdoor temperature is nearing 30 degrees Celsius about 86F. The room is poorly ventilated. The stage lights are uncomfortably scorching. Roughly 103,000 americans are jammed into the convention centre, which is the dimension of two metropolis blocks. The aircon is overwhelmed by their body heat.

Sadoun is surrounded with the aid of half-a-dozen of his correct lieutenants in the Publicis empire. he’s sitting on the ground as a result of there aren’t satisfactory chairs for every person. everyone is speakme at once. everybody is trying no longer to sweat.

Sadoun has just unveiled the ad company community’s huge, mysterious, and daring new movement into synthetic intelligence — a undertaking named,Marcel.”


Marcel is almost a relaunch of his total company, which his daftar poker people occasionally now check with as a,platform,” as if it were an app or an working device. here is the greatest moment of the 12 months for Publicis.

Sadoun needs this to work. He has no option. The enterprise’s revenues $eleven billion a year are in decline. The stock has lost 24% of its value for the reason that 2015. change must turn up. it’s a cliche, but it surely is true: The internet is destroying the ad company company, and has been for years. So Sadoun is investing every thing — cash, talent, Publicis’ popularity as a creative leader — in Marcel.

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They have no idea if Marcel goes to work. however Sadoun has wager the company on it.

Sadoun is forty seven but appears younger. he is rail-skinny. His hair bushes upward, defying gravity. He has the deep tan of a person who travels a lot. He speaks to the viewers in fluent English besides the fact that he is in Paris, and is French. He is aware of that his actual audience are shoppers with ad budgets in the a whole lot of tens of millions of greenbacks, who are on the whole based mostly in the us and could watch this on YouTube. Or in other words, they do not talk Français.


Sadoun’s keynote by and large arena is delivered to a restless, packed audience. When he leaves the stage, Sadoun appears tired however talks as if he is elated. On the palm of his hand, scrawled in ballpoint pen, are the speaking notes he used at a press event with Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, this morning. They include three barely legible phrases, in English:

Sadoun confirmed enterprise Insider the speaking notes he wrote on his hand earlier than happening stage. Jim Edwards

“these guys haven’t been sleeping for six months”

Sadoun’s senior govt group has been engaged on Marcel for a year — two conferences per day, seven days per week. “these guys haven’t been napping for six months,” Sadoun says, gesturing to his colleagues.

Sitting with us are Carla Serrano, the CEO of Publicis ny and the chief approach officer of the business as a whole; Chief Digital Officer first light Winchester, Nick legislation, the longtime RGA artistic leader who joined Publicis as chief inventive officer of the holding enterprise in January; Emmanuel André, the chief talent officer, and Peggy Nahmany, the vice president of communications.

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