Publicis Groupe’s[Euronext Paris: FR0000130577, CAC40] 2016 Combined General Shareholders’ Meeting took place today, chaired by Elisabeth Badinter, Chair of the Supervisory Board. Shareholders attendance was particularly high, with nearly 70% of capital present or represented. The highlights of 2016 and the Groupe’s strategy were presented by Maurice Lévy, Chairman & CEO.
All the resolutions submitted to vote of the shareholders were adopted. The general shareholders' meeting declared a dividend of €1.85 per share, with shareholders being granted the option to receive payment of the dividend in either cash or new shares. The option for payment of the dividend in shares must be exercised between June 6 and June 26, 2017 inclusive.
The issue price of shares distributed as dividends was set at 61.14 euros per share. The ex-dividend date was set at June 6, 2017. Payment of dividends in cash and in delivery of new shares will be made on July 4, 2017.
The shareholders also approved with large majority the appointment of Maurice Lévy to the Supervisory Board. The Board as well as his compensation as Chair of the Board which met after the General Shareholders’ Meeting, unanimously approved the proposal of Elisabeth Badinter to name Maurice Lévy Chairman of the Supervisory Board, she herself was appointed unanimously Vice-Chair.
The Supervisory Board confirmed the appointment of Arthur Sadoun and Steve King as members of the Management Board (Directoire), naming Arthur Sadoun Chairman & CEO of Publicis Groupe, succeeding Maurice Lévy in this role. The Management Board now comprises 4 members: Arthur Sadoun (Chairman & CEO), Steve King (CEO, Publicis Media), Anne-Gabrielle Heilbronner (Secretary General), and Jean-Michel Etienne (Executive Vice President, CFO).
At this important moment in Publicis Groupe’s history, marked by the succession of Maurice Lévy and the transformation of the Groupe, the Supervisory Board has asked Maurice Lévy to actively accompany the new Management Board (Directoire) in such a phase of progressive transition. More precisely, to maintain the trusting relationships built, often over several decades, with the Groupe’s major clients, to provide counsel to the Management Board (Directoire) members on significant matters, to coordinate efforts before local authorities where the Groupe operates, and to allow the Groupe to benefit from his 46 years of experience.
The Supervisory Board took note of the resignation of Jerry Greenberg as a member of the Supervisory Board for personal reasons. The founder of Sapient, Jerry joined the Supervisory Board in 2015 when Publicis Groupe acquired Sapient. He accompanied the Groupe through the entire integration phase of Sapient, the creation of Publicis.Sapient and the execution of The Power of One. The Supervisory Board thanks him warmly for his commitment and for his efficient collaboration.
Following the renewal of the mandates of Simon Badinter and Jean Charest which had arrived at term, the Supervisory Board now counts 12 members, 6 women and 6 men; 6 of which are independent and 4 of which are of foreign nationality. Strengthened by its diversity and range of expertise, its composition is as follows: Elisabeth Badinter (Vice-Chair), Sophie Dulac, Claudine Bienaimé, Marie-Josée Kravis, Marie-Claude Mayer, Véronique Morali, Maurice Lévy (Chairman), Simon Badinter, Jean Charest, Michel Cicurel, Thomas H. Glocer and André Kudelski.
The Supervisory Board is comprised of four committees which have been ajusted to take into account the new composition of the Board: the Nomination Committee with Elisabeth Badinter (President), Michel Cicurel, Jean Charest, Marie-Josée Kravis and Maurice Lévy; the Compensation Committee with Michel Cicurel (President), Claudine Bienaimé, Véronique Morali and Thomas H. Glocer; the Audit Committee with Jean Charest (President), Claudine Bienaimé, Véronique Morali and André Kudelski; and the Strategy & Risk Committee with Marie-Josée Kravis (President), Elisabeth Badinter, Marie-Claude Mayer, Thomas H. Glocer and Maurice Lévy.
Elisabeth Badinter paid a heartfelt tribute to Maurice Lévy, who dedicated 46 years to making the agency founded by her father, Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, into the world’s 3rd largest communications group, all while preserving the heritage and values which have carried Publicis Groupe throughout the last 91 years. Maurice Lévy replied.
Elisabeth Badinter ‘s full speech is available here
Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris FR0000130577, CAC 40] is a global leader in communication. The Groupe is positioned at every step of the value chain, from consulting to execution, combining marketing transformation and digital business transformation. Publicis Groupe is a privileged partner in its clients’ transformation to enhance personalization at scale. The Groupe relies on ten expertise concentrated within four main activities: Communication, Media, Data and Technology. Through a unified and fluid organization, its clients have a facilitated access to all its expertise in every market. Present in over 100 countries, Publicis Groupe employs around 83,000 professionals.