Maurice Lévy leaves Publicis

Get our your skates, hell has frozen over: Maurice Lévy has decided to retire, after 40 years of being the the chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe reports The Guardian.

"My contract is finishing at the end of 2011 and you can say that I will not be seeking a new term," said Lévy, speaking to "There are strong candidates but it will be up to the board to make the decision and choose. As far as I'm concerned what I can do is make a recommendation which I will do."

Lévy joined Publicis in 1971 as their IT director, and one of his first moves was to have a data security policy in place, backing up all the company data on magnetic tape. A fire in the company offices later showed how valuable this was, as Publicis was back on its feet a week later with the help of all the backup.