Management shake up at Publicis Communications sees Saatchi’s Michael Rebelo named CEO

In a major restructure, Saatchi & Saatchi ANZ Chairman and CEO Michael Rebelo has been elevated to be CEO of the Publicis Communications Group.

The move sees Andrew Baxter named as chairman of Publicis Communications, adding to his role as CEO of Publicis Worldwide.

Andrew Baxter named chairman.

The French communications giant has also announced Melinda Geertz has been given the newly created role of CEO for Leo Burnett Australia after having run the agency’s Melbourne operations for a number of years.

Global CEO Arthur Sadoun said the appointments were aimed streamlining operations for Publicis agencies across the group.

“Australia and New Zealand are key markets for Publicis Communications,” Sadoun said.

“These appointments will allow us to further harness the Power of One to deliver to all of our clients seamless end-to-end solutions that draw on our world-class expertise and resources, no matter where they may be located.

“I know I can count on Mike, Andrew, Melinda and the teams to accelerate on the great momentum they’ve already been building through the recent wins of Tiger Beer global, H&R Block, Caltex, Spirit of Tasmania and Betfair, to name just a few.”

Saatchi & Saatchi ANZ Chairman and CEO Michael Rebelo will head up Publicis Communications as CEO

Rebelo will continue with his Saatchi role, while Baxter will be charged with helping the Publicis companies work across the hub the group has created in Australia.

Baxter said the addition of the chairman role to his duties would give the group greater flexibility.

“CEOs, CMOs and CIOs want agency partners to help them solve big and small problems in a multitude of different ways,” Baxter said.

“And that means agency leaderships teams need to be unencumbered by old systems and processes, so we rally our teams to do the right thing by the brand every single time. That’s what’s exciting about these announcements.”

Leo Burnett Melbourne’s Geertz takes on the national role.

Geertz, who has built a formidable reputation at Leo Burnett in Melbourne, said the appointment to a national role was a new opportunity.

“Now I have the opportunity to work more closely with Pete and our amazing Leo Burnett Sydney team, who are a creative force to be reckoned with. It’s a dream job,” Geertz said.

“Together, we have so much talent and firepower, and I’m excited about what lies ahead. I’m also looking forward to plugging into the group’s broader capabilities – for the good of our clients.”

The announcement of Geertz taking on the national role comes two months after the public face of Leo Burnett, Todd Sampson, announced he was leaving the agency.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.