Monday, saw the announcement that Maurice Levy's Publicis, the advertising holding company, had bought Sapient, a digital and consulting company, for $3.7 billion dollars or a 44% premium over it's closing price on Friday.
Levy is calling this a "bounce back" from his ill considered and reckless deal to merge with another holding company Omnicom last year. That was a deal that everyone except for him knew was going to be a disaster anyway it turned out... and everyone, everyone but Levy, was right. The deal was never consumated because of client push back and internal unhappiness with who would be reporting to whom, and it cost Publicis and Omnicom, even by conservative estimates, $630 million.
Now Levy pays more than a premium for Sapient and then adds that Sapient will be "leading Publicis' companies transformation into digital". I guess someone should call some of the Publicis digital agencies, say Digitas, and tell them they haven't been sufficiently "digital" up to now.
Levy seems out of touch with what his own companies are offering. He seems willing to do any deal to aggrandize himself no matter what the cost. And he seems willing to insult the leaders of some of the best companies in his portfolio, by saying they haven't been sufficiently digital" despite the fact that they are looked to as leaders in digital for two decades now, to do it.
It would seem time, to me at least, that the board and the shareholders step up and hand Maurice his walking papers.