Major Restructuring At Saatchi & Saatchi

Robert Senior, the new Global CEO at Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi, is quickly putting his stamp on the agency.

Senior, who was named CEO back in September as part of a larger Publicis Groupe management revamp, has implemented a corporate restructuring at the agency that has disposed of the traditional regional operating formula.

It has been replaced by two market clusters, one of which includes established markets like the U.S., UK, Germany and China. The other group includes emerging growth markets like most of Latin America, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.

Chris Foster, who had been Saatchi’s APAC CEO, will now lead the traditional market cluster. His old position is being jettisoned. Justin Billingsley, who had been COO of the shop’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region has been promoted to CEO of Dynamic {emerging) Markets. Billingsley will also lead agency-wide M&A activity.

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The EMEA CEO position, formerly held by Senior (in addition to his global CEO duties) is also being eliminated. Foster’s old role, Worldwide COO is also being shelved.

Most global holding company agencies use a regional structure. However, Interpublic’s media agencies UM and Initiative switched to a cluster-market model several years ago.  

Billingsley joined Saatchi & Saatchi in 2009 as chief executive and chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Greater China, before moving to his EMEA role in 2013. Before that, he held various senior marketing roles at companies including Unilever, Coca-Cola, Nokia and Orange.

Senior described the new model as a “focused operating structure for the business.” He said that Billingsley’s “clarity of thought, decision-making and client-side experience make him the ideal choice to lead further growth across our new Dynamic Markets region.”

Added Billingsley: “The brands we serve live in a flat, borderless world and our agency must too. To cluster markets based on what they mean to our clients, versus where they are, is smart and I am energized to be leading our Dynamic Markets, from which the majority of the next half a billion middle class consumers will come."

1 comment about "Major Restructuring At Saatchi & Saatchi".
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  1. Marcelo Salup from MS Group LLC, January 9, 2015 at 7:58 a.m.

    Ultimately meaningless.

    Agencies need to restructure the way consumers think. And, consumers think in an integrated way. In spite of the reorganization, you still wind up with silos that don't add anything except layers and infighting.

    Also, some brands might be really mature (e.g., Coke) in "emerging" markets (e.g., Mexico) while some brands might be basically beginning in "mature markets" (e.g., food delivery in the UK)

    Seems more of an exercise in creating noise over signal.

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