Publicis Groupe announces regional leadership appointments for Central & Eastern Europe region. Tomas Lauko has been named Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), reporting directly to Steve King, Chief Operating Officer, Publicis Groupe. Tomas Lauko will be charged with overseeing Publicis Groupe operations across 15 markets in the CEE region. Supporting Tomas, Maria Tudor (currently Chief Media Officer and Business Development Lead, Publicis Groupe CEE) has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer for the region.
“The appointment of Tomas reinforces our commitment to Central and Eastern Europe, a dynamic region with multiple areas of opportunities and unique talent pool. Tomas brings a distinctive combination of a deep understanding of the CEE region, including our biggest markets of Poland and Russia, as well as global business management experience. A strong client-partner, he keeps his fingers on the pulse on the latest developments in technology, creativity and business and is adept at working across different cultures. In the short time since Tomas took on the role, he is already making a positive impact, delivering tangible results. I’m positive that under Tomas’ leadership, Publicis Groupe CEE is poised to scale greater heights in the days ahead”, said Steve King, Chief Operating Officer, Publicis Groupe.
“The CEE region comprises a myriad of opportunities across a very diverse set of markets. I’m looking forward to applying my experience and knowledge of the region and global businesses, harnessing the best of both to the benefit of our clients’ businesses during this transformational period. I’m thrilled to be leading Publicis Groupe CEE into the platform world future, powered by our diverse talent and the world-class capabilities based out of our region. As a team, we have set an ambitious roadmap that we have already started implementing. I believe that talent do their best work and drive companies forward when they are empowered and supported, hence we are committed to investing in the growth of our talent to ensure they are enabled for success as an individual and collectively as a company”, added Tomas Lauko, the new CEO, Publicis Groupe CEE.
Most recently the Chief Operating Officer of Publicis Groupe Northern and Central Europe (NCE), Tomas Lauko was responsible for the development of the region’s competitive product offering and operational setup to drive profitable growth. During this time, Tomas was instrumental in the success behind key new business wins and retentions in the NCE region as well as effectively supporting Publicis Groupe NCE’s Power of One ambitions that translated into positive business results.
Beginning his career as a client at Société Générale in Czech Republic, Tomas went on to Dentsu Aegis as Communication Consultant and rapidly progressed through the ranks. In 2009, Tomas embarked on his journey with Publicis Groupe at Zenith media agency when he was brought in to lead digital and business development across CEE implementing partnerships with companies like Facebook, Google, Adform or Gemius amongst others. At age 29, he was promoted to Managing Director of Zenith’s operations in Czech Republic responsible for the agency’s transformation and P&L. In early 2014, Tomas was named as CEO of Zenith in Russia where he led the agency and its clients through the Russian economy downturn years. At the end of 2016, he went on to Paris to take on the role as the Global Client Lead for L’Oreal before being appointed as the Chief Operating Officer for Publicis Groupe NCE in 2019.
As Chief Operating Officer, Publicis Groupe CEE, Maria Tudor, who is based in Bucharest, will report to and work closely with Tomas Lauko. She has been tasked in her new role to oversee Publicis Groupe CEE regional operations, strategy and its implementation, business development, product, partnerships and lead some of our biggest and fastest growing practices including media and content.
Speaking about the appointment, Maria Tudor said “I’m very proud of what we have achieved so far and am excited about the new assignment. Following the transformation of Publicis Groupe CEE, it is stronger than ever. With a connected team, true Power of One spirit and product, empowered by top-notch, future-proof capabilities, we are ready to continue our growth together with our clients, partners, and talent. Tomas and I share the same vision and ambition for our region – commitment to outperform and make a mark not just in the Groupe but also in the industry. We believe that this is fueled by trust, people-first approach, passion, inspiration, and constant learning that bonds the leadership team across the 15 markets in CEE. As the motto carved on my desk in our Bucharest office says, ‘Excellence is a habit, not an act’ – it’s an honor to continue this incredible journey with Publicis Groupe CEE team.”
With over two decades of experience in the communication industry, Maria Tudor started her career as an engineer in computer science before discovering that her passion lies in communication. She got her first start in communication at Saatchi & Saatchi before moving on to launch Zenith Romania in 2000 and subsequently leading it to become the top media agency in Romania. A respected figure in the industry, she was recognized with multiple awards including Excellence in Media Operations award from IAA and the Personality of the Year in Marketing and Communication in Romania. When Publicis Groupe acquired Zenith Romania in 2013, Maria moved from an entrepreneur to being a part of the Groupe. In this time, she fully embraced and championed the Power of One model and played a lead role in elevating the Groupe’s media offerings across the region and was instrumental in acquiring major businesses for CEE team and successfully managing several key clients in the region.
In a related development, Paula Sobieszek has been appointed Business Development Director, Publicis Groupe CEE.– This follows a 16-year career at Mindshare (WPP) where she progressed through the ranks from Media Planner to Partner in business development. Reporting to Maria Tudor, Paula who is based in Warsaw, will coordinate and project manage business development across the region, ensure connectivity with global practices, co-drive product development and coordination, support operational streamlining and automation as well as building Publicis Groupe CEE’s relationships with global and regional vendors.