Publicis Groupe to dissolve VivaKi, to turn SBU

08 Nov,2012

By  A Correspondent

 

The Publicis Groupe has announced that VivaKi, the initiative launched in 2008 through the combined scale and leadership of Digitas, Starcom MediaVest Group, ZenithOptimedia and later Razorfish, will become a separate business unit more broadly available to all Publicis Groupe agencies and the market.

 

VivaKi was created to accelerate the digital transformation of Publicis Groupe and its agencies, and as a result the Group will derive 35 percent of its revenue from digital activities. VivaKi has also initiated and expanded the power of partnerships with Google, Facebook, Microsoft, AOL and many other players for Publicis Groupe, and it has delivered innovative products and services such as The Pool and Audience on Demand (AOD).

 

“The achievements of VivaKi have been extremely profitable to our clients, helping them to be the best at connecting with the new consumers and bridging the analogue and digital worlds,” said Maurice Lévy, Chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe. “As we seek even more aggressive growth and digital acceleration, the VivaKi leadership—Jack Klues, Laura Desmond, Steve King, Bob Lord and Frank Voris—has developed a plan to open up the VivaKi operations, creating a new impetus for further innovations and more aggressive growth for all Publicis

Groupe agencies.”

 

The four founding agencies will leverage the benefits of VivaKi in new ways, according to Jack Klues, CEO of VivaKi. “The VivaKi ecosystem fostered an unprecedented level of collaboration,” he said. “The agencies have shaped and perfected our offerings, worked together to create valuable new solutions, and embraced a transformational philosophy of building, borrowing and sharing to the benefit of our clients. Digitas, Razorfish, SMG and ZenithOptimedia will continue to inform our roadmap even as they continue to enhance their own, unique propositions.”

 

According to Mr Lévy, VivaKi CEO Jack Klues is going to help set VivaKi on its new course, and then map his retirement. Klues will retire as CEO at the end of 2012 after 35 years with the organization, though he will remain with Publicis Groupe through the first half of 2013 to help establish VivaKi as a separate business unit.

 

Frank Voris will serve as CEO of the strategically focused VivaKi, partnering with Rishad Tobaccowala, who remains VivaKi’s Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer. Mr Voris, who has served as VivaKi CFO since its inception, has been responsible for all VivaKi operations, including technology, product development and the integration of acquisition targets, since the entity was launched in 2008. Mr Tobaccowala is a 30-year industry thought leader who has pioneered several industry firsts, including VivaKi Ventures, Denuo and other future-focused operational units that have delivered gaming, mobile and internet expertise to marketers.

 

An executive board comprised of Desmond, King, Lord and Voris will collaborate on VivaKi product strategies, priorities and transactional tools and services.

 

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