NEW YORK — Paul Newman has left the Publicis-owned MSLGroup 18 months after joining as president of North America — making this the third time the position has turned over in less than five years.
MSLGroup CEO Olivier Fleurot announced Newman’s departure to employees this morning in a memo shared with the Holmes Report. He emphasized “this change is unrelated to the recent announcement regarding the closer alignment between Publicis Worldwide and MSLGROUP.”
In June, the holding company announced that as of Sept. 1, Publicis Worldwide CEO Arthur Sadoun would be taking over supervision of MSLGroup, meanwhile Fleurot would move into an SVP role at the holding group.
“In order to be closer to his family that is based in Boston, Paul Newman, president of North America, has decided to leave the company,” the memo also stated. “His last day is today, August 3. [MSLGroup's global CFO] Peter Miller will serve as interim President until a new leadership plan is announced for North America.”
Fleurot went on to say “the North America region has made good progress against its 2015 business priorities, and we appreciate Paul’s overseeing that effort.” He also maintained the agency's commitment to being “one of the world’s top communications and engagement firms in North America and around the globe.”
In 2012, Renee Wilson took over as MSLGroup’s North America head, following the departure of Jim Tsokanos. In 2013, she relinquished her role as president of North America (also citing family reasons) and the former eBay VP Newman took over in February 2014.
“Since joining MSLGROUP, I have grown to appreciate our employees’ strong passion and outstanding commitment to their work,” Newman said in the memo relayed by Fleurot. "You have demonstrated time and time again that you can do great things, and I know you will continue to deliver for your clients in big ways.”
MSLGroup declined to comment further.