Publicis Groupe stopped its business and investments in Russia earlier this week, by ceding the ownership of its agencies to local management, effective immediately.
In the image above: Arthur Sadoun, CEO & Chairman of Publicis Groupe
Publicis Groupe is handing over control of its Russian operations to Sergey Koptev, who is the Founding Chairman of Publicis in Russia, with the clear contractual condition of ensuring a future for employees there and halting all operations and investments in the country.
“Since the start of the invasion, we have been working on exiting Russia as we strongly condemn the unilateral aggression against Ukraine. We were committed to taking strong actions that fully respond to the gravity of the situation. But we were determined to take the necessary time to come up with a solution that was truly people-first because our 1200 employees in Russia are our people too. We couldn’t just abandon them. By ceding control of our Russian operations to Sergey, we are securing a future path for our colleagues while immediately stopping all of our operations, engagement, and investment in Russia”, said Arthur Sadoun, CEO & Chairman of Publicis Groupe.
Sadoun released an internal video for staff in which he spoke about the difficult decision to part ways with staff in Russia – some of whom “have been with us for decades," he said.
In a release, Publicis further explained how their first priority remains the safety of its people and their families amid ongoing violence and humanitarian crises in Ukraine. The Groupe is more committed than ever to bringing them the security, relocation, and financial support they need in this incredibly difficult time.
“The safety of our people in Ukraine remains our number one focus. We are in daily contact with all 350 of them on an individual basis and doing everything we can to protect them. From security alert systems to psychological and mental health support, to help with visas, or guaranteeing salaries for everyone for the entire year, we will continue to stand by their side, be exhaustive in the solutions we bring, and immediate in the aid we provide,” Sadoun added.