Maurice Lévy: His best quotes

The outgoing Publicis CEO was never at a loss for words, and many of them were aimed at his rival, WPP CEO Martin Sorrell.

On WPP CEO Martin Sorrell:
"I'm sorry Martin said that—it's really cheap, but it's probably the result of his lack of understanding of technology. He's a financier, I'm an engineer, and you can see the difference. I'm pleased with what we have done, and I'm sorry that my dear friend has not understood it."
(2008) Lévy hits back at Sorrell, who suggested a Publicis Groupe/Google deal lacked substance; Campaign 

"As very often what Martin says is rubbish."
(2012) Lévy criticizes Sorrell for questioning Publicis Groupe's denial over whether it had had discussions with Interpublic Group; Campaign

"Whoever succeeds [Sorrell] needs to be a good human being—not wicked and nasty, generous and not greedy, sharing and not selfish or egotistical."
(2016) Lévy responds to news that WPP has begun searching for potential successors for Sorrell; Campaign

"We could have expected more dignity from [Sorrell], especially as during my interview, I refrained from damning WPP, whose reaction in this affair is all but glorious." 
(2016) Lévy criticizes WPP's handling of the Gustavo Martinez affair at J. Walter Thompson; Campaign

On the failed merger with Omnicom
"We are all moving into the future. We are fierce competitors. Everyone wants to kill the other one." 
(2014) Lévy shrugs off the collapsed merger of Publicis Groupe and Omnicom. Campaign

"Some will call it a utopia or an immoderate ambition that we underestimated. I prefer to think, with a guilty conscience, about young generations that strongly believe in such a dream and that we let them down. That said, although it’s a shame this dream was never realized, not dreaming at all would have been even more shameful."
(2014) Lévy almost references Shakespeare when writing about how the Publicis/Omnicom merger failed. Campaign

On his future restructuring Publicis Groupe
"I am waiting for their decision. I’m a good soldier. I have been with the company for more than 40 years and they’re asking me to stay a little, to give time for them to make the right decision. Anyway, we should not think of a solution that will emerge as one providential man, or woman, what is important is a team and we have great teams, fantastic people and I’m very proud of that."
(2013) Talk of Lévy stepping down as Publicis Groupe CEO begins; Campaign

"Everyone in the industry was dreaming of making very important changes. But no one has dared to go as far as we did."
(2016) Lévy sums up his final mission at Publicis Groupe: to break down agency silos as part of a company-wide restructure. Campaign

"No silo, no solo, no bozo."
(2016) Lévy, never afraid to make fun of himself, references Publicis Groupe's mission to break down silos in a farewell Christmas message; Campaign

And finally...
"It's starting to improve but university is sheltered from the business world, and they think they should not have any connection with the businesses because maybe the business is dirty or not very good. We are in a socialist country with a socialist history, and the business people are not smelling very good."
(2016) Lévy on how France can get more tech startups. Business Insider

This story first appeared on campaignlive.co.uk.

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