Between the Lines: Levy selects heir-apparent?

The new management at Publicis speaks volumes about Maurice Levy's state of mind. As the chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe, Levy has a strong emotional attachment to his empire.

So much so, it's often easy to forget he is a hired hand. He personifies the company in a way that the majority owners, the Bleustein-Blanchet family, do not.

As such, Levy has found it hard to let go, and the question of his successor remains unresolved. Rick Bendel came closest, but even he was never granted the CEO title. And one wonders if the fact Bendel is not French and resisted a move to Paris might have hampered his chances of ascending the throne.

Bendel's decision to accept the Asda job (page 1) solves that problem for Levy and makes way for the Frenchman Olivier Fleurot, who looks in good shape to be groomed for successorship.

With Richard Pinder also joining the new line-up, Levy now has a strong team. But whether or not Levy will be prepared to step back enough to let them get on with it is another matter.

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