Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Time to Say Goodbye (with thanks to Signor Bocelli)

Almost 20 years ago, I was invited to join Saatchi & Saatchi as Worldwide Chief Executive, with a view to resurrecting this famous company and saving it from a premature end. With Bob Seelert, Bill Cochrane, Bob Isherwood and Milano Reyna, we created a Purpose and Plan which our 7,000 people rallied around and executed.

Two short years later we met Maurice Levy and the Publicis Groupe and we merged the two companies, keeping the brands separate. Viva La Difference. Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis thrived and great work, great ideas, great campaigns and great Lovemarks were created.

Last year I announced that May 1 2017 would be the day I would retire from the Groupe (20 years in this industry as a Network CEO is somewhat unusual) – and Saatchi & Saatchi was now in Robert Senior’s capable hands.

This plan was jolted by a controversial piece of communication by me a few weeks ago and I decided to bring my retirement forward by eight months, to today.

I leave proud of the progress Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis Groupe made over this period and grateful for the many friends I’ve made along the way, colleagues, partners and clients.

I wish the Groupe, its people, and its clients all the best as ‘The Power of One’ initiative gathers pace.

And for me, A New Beginning.

The next chapter is about Independence and Freedom.

Making Happy Choices.

Working with people I like, in businesses I love, in places close to home.

Red Rose Consulting will provide advice and counsel on marketing, creative thinking and Leadership, underpinned by four of my books – Lovemarks, Peak Performance, Sisomo and 64 Shots.

And I will also be taking equity positions in a small number of small growth companies where I have a Board role.

Exciting times ahead.



Jozef said...

Dear Robert

All the best to your new adventures - Indeed, Exciting times ahead...

Most songs that aren't jump-rope songs, or lullabies, are cautionary tales or goodbye songs and road songs.
~ Tom Waits

Best wishes


Fabio said...

Dear Kevin.

Please, don't go.

"You are the Heart & Soul of Saatchi & Saatchi.

Your Lovemark disciple,
forever and ever,
Fabio "Ciccio"Ferri.

Magda Bunea said...

Dear Kevin
It was a bright smile on my face 15 years ago reading about Lovemarks.
And all these years, watching your conferences and interviews, seizing your freedom and joy for - well- contiguity of being you was an inspiration, and a true spring of energy for me.
I live in a former communist country, so I have a special feeling for totalitarian abuse. I do not consider there was even a trace of disrespect in that interview. I must mention though I do believe women were discriminated just 100 year ago, or even less, in my country. Maybe is to early for us to practice the freedom instead of power as a tool to overcome discrimination.
Some used the power to put on leave, you used the freedom to leave.
Living on the edge is a a great place to be, as you often have stated! Having a red rose around - well, is even greater.

David Bowie said at his 50th anniversary:"I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring."
Well, looking forward literally :)

Donna Adinolfi said...


I was honored to be the (off site) Travel Manager for Saatchi and Saatchi in the late 80's while working in New York City. It was a great honor then and I have fond memories of working with the Saatchi team. Being connected to Saatchi in this way also kept me connected in the advertising/marketing field during the beginning of my career.

For the last several years I've always looked forward to hearing about Saatchi via your content. Life is a journey and I wish you all the best in this next chapter of your life.

Healthy regards,
- Donna

TJ Eaton said...

Many of us aspire to the leaving of a legacy. The goal in business, so clearly defined in Lovemarks, changed the way I see the world. That was 12 years ago. Thank you KR .. bon chance. TJ

Craig Donaldson said...

Well done KR.. Impressive