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Laura Desmond to take six month sabbatical from Publicis Groupe

Laura Desmond to take six month sabbatical from Publicis Groupe

Publicis Groupe chief revenue officer Laura Desmond is to take a six-month sabbatical from the organisation from 1 July, as she looks to focus on a “significant family health issue”.


Former Starcom Mediavest Group CEO Desmond was appointed to the position in December 2015, developing strategies for the group’s transformation and leading chief client officers in simplifying how clients access communications and marketing solutions.

“People know how committed I am to my profession and career, but family really does come first,” said Desmond. “I’m very grateful to [chairman and chief executive officer] Maurice Levy and Publicis Groupe for being the kind of organisation that supports people taking time to deal with challenging times.

“It’s a priority for me to be there for my family for the next six months, and then rejoining Publicis Groupe at the beginning of next year.”

Chief strategist Rishad Tobaccowala will take over Desmond’s responsibilities in the interim, with assistance from Desmond in the lead up.

“Laura has been dedicated to Publicis Groupe for her entire career, successfully driving transformation, growth and impact for the Groupe and its clients,” said Levy.

“We fully support her taking this needed time to support her family and look forward to her return at the start of next year.”

We spoke to Publicis Media chief executive officer Steve King at Festival of Media Global 2016 – watch here.