Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett named Rich Stoddart as CEO Leo Burnett Worldwide effective Feb. 1.
Stoddart, 52 and currently Burnett's North American CEO, succeeds Tom Bernardin, 62, who has been the chief executive of Leo Burnett since 2004. Bernardin will remain in his chairman role through June 2017. Stoddart will continue to oversee the North American business, at least for the foreseeable future.
Stoddart's promotion marks the first major top executive change since the restructuring of the group in December last year, that brought, among other things, the holding company's creative shops (Publicis Worldwide, Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, Marcel, BBH, MSL and Nurun as well as production hub Prodigious) under one umbrella, Publicis Communications, which is overseen by CEO Arthur Saadoun.