John Farrell steps down at Publicis SAMS

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Publicis Groupe announced today that John Farrell has resigned as president and CEO of specialized agencies and marketing services (SAMS).

According to Publicis, Farrell will remain at the company until July 1, 2009 to assist in the transition of leadership at SAMS. Operations at SAMS consist of approximately 36% of the group's revenues, an increase of 13% since Farrell came on board five years ago, the company said.

Farrell first joined Publicis Groupe in 2003 following its acquisition of ad organization B/Com3. There, he had been worldwide president and CEO of the ad agency D'Arcy Masius Benton and Bowles, which was later absorbed by Publicis.

At Publicis, Farrell played a leading role in its global mergers and acquisitions strategy, the company said. In particular, Farrell was “instrumental in inspiring” the acquisitions of US-based digital agency Digitas, as well as the PR firms Kekst in the US and Freud Communications in the UK, the group said.

Farrell could not be reached by press time, but in a statement said, “This was a tough decision for me as my five years at the Publicis Groupe have been some of the most exciting of my career.”

When reached by e-mail, Peggy Nahmany, a spokeswoman for Publicis, replied that Farrell's replacement will be announced at a later date.

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