Publicis appoints Justin Billingsley to newly-created global CMO role

Publicis Groupe has named Justin Billingsley, previously CEO of the holding company in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as its first global chief marketing officer.

In a statement, the business said that in the context of COVID-19, Billingsley’s immediate focus will be partnering with leaders and clients to ensure they are “recovery ready, for today and tomorrow’s ‘next normal'”.

Billingsley has been with Publicis for a decade. Source: LinkedIn

Broadly, however, the new role will focus on product development and marketing, client transformation, new and organic growth, and PR and communications.

“Justin has the unique set of skills and experience to take on this critical new role in our organisation, particularly at this time of profound change,” global CEO and chair, Arthur Sadoun, said.

“He’s demonstrated growth and transformation on the client-side, at some of the world’s most iconic brands, including Coca-Cola, Nokia and Orange. His time leading operations across APAC, EMEA and the US means he has a global vision and precise awareness of local nuances.

“And more recently he has been at the forefront of developing and implementing some of the most advanced Power of One models for our clients. There are many initiatives that are currently being taken at Publicis to make sure our clients are recovery ready. Justin will ensure that all of our clients can benefit from them.”

Billingsley joined Publicis a decade ago as CEO for Saatchi & Saatchi Greater China, after working across the world client-side in senior leadership roles at Orange, Nokia, and Coca-Cola. He returned to the UK in a range of Saatchi & Saatchi leadership roles before becoming global chief operations officer for Publicis Communications. He became CEO across Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Brazil in 2018, serving in the role for two years until this month’s change of role.

Recently, he has led teams within Publicis responsible for account wins like Mercedes-Benz and Nivea, and will remain chair of Publicis Emil and Publicis One Touch, the respective bespoke agencies for those clients. Billingsley will also continue to be part of the Groupe’s management committee, and report to Sadoun.

“We have one objective and that is to help our clients find growth, both in the current context and in ensuring they are prepared for what is ahead,” Billingsley said.

“Publicis Groupe has continually demonstrated success for clients through our Power of One models and my focus as CMO will be to ensure this approach is evolved and scaled so that we can help even more of our clients to transform.”


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