Publicis Groupe has given global CMO Justin Billingsley his walking papers.
The holding company didn’t have much to say about the matter (first reported by Campaign) but made it pretty clear in a terse two-sentence comment that he was terminated.
“We have ended Justin’s employment and he is now on garden leave. We won’t be making any further comment.”
It’s believed that the termination was imposed following a client meeting in which Billingsley allegedly made inappropriate comments, but specifics were not available.
Billingsley spent over a decade at the company and its subsidiaries and was appointed global CMO in April of 2020 as the company began thinking about its positioning in the post-pandemic world. The role was a new one at the company.
He focused on product development and marketing initiatives for clients. He was also tasked with spearheading new strategies surrounding the Groupe’s Power of One business model that has been rolling out country by country for the past few years.
It’s not clear if he’ll be replaced in the role and the company declined to comment.
Earlier Billingsley led the Publicis Groupe region comprised of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Brazil and also held COO roles at Publicis Communications and Saatchi & Saatchi.
Before joining the company, he held positions at Coca-Cola, Orange and Unilever.
Last month Publicis Groupe extended CEO Arthur Sadoun’s contract for another four years and announced a reorganization of the company’s senior leadership team known as the Directoire+. Billingsley was not mentioned in the reorganization plans.
Next Tuesday Publicis Groupe will issue its Q3 earnings report.