Publicis Epsilon Chief Executive Bryan Kennedy to Retire
Publicis Groupe’s data business Epsilon’s chief executive Bryan Kennedy is to retire at the end of the year with former Conversant CEO John Giuliani set to rejoin as executive chairman.
Kennedy, who has spent a quarter of a century at the business, being made CEO in 2009 and leading its acquisition in April 2019 for $4.4 billion, will remain for the coming months as an executive strategic adviser as the transition takes place.
He initially joined as chief technology officer in 1996, having graduated at Harvard Business School in the same year. He was then promoted to chief operating officer in 2001, a role he held for eight years.
In a statement, Kennedy outlined that he was “grateful” that he could retire with the business “in the best position for continued growth.”
He added: “It’s been a privilege to work alongside our teams around the world to establish Epsilon as an industry-leader in identity, customer database and engagement, loyalty and email.”
Meanwhile, Giuliani, who will report to Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun, will be tasked to oversee the business and take on Kennedy’s responsibilities in shaping its long-term strategy and client growth. He will also work with Ric Elert, whose current role as president and chief operating officer at Epsilon will be expanded.
Giuliani has been widely involved with digital businesses, including building display media company Dotomi—sold to ValueClick in 2011—prior to the rebrand of the business to Conversant, where he would become CEO the following year. That business was then sold to what was Alliance Data (Epsilon) in 2014. He would remain as president and chief executive of Conversant until June 2019 following the acquisition by Publicis. Giuliani is also the executive chairman of Yieldify.
Sadoun offered his thanks to Kennedy for his leadership of Epsilon and his work with the Publicis management team over the last two years.
“With Ric, he has been a key driving force behind the successful integration of Epsilon into Publicis,” he continued, citing the growth of Epsilon by almost one-third (31.1%) during the second quarter of 2021.