Roger Haupt (57), the former ceo of US agency group Bcom3 prior to its agreed acquisition by Publicis Groupe in 2002, is to step down from his present role of Publicis president and chief operating officer.

Haupt's intentions were made known to Publicis' board by letter, although it is not clear when his exit is scheduled. However, he will maintain his connections with the French group as chairman of its recently formed Publicis Groupe Media division.

Haupt's hotseat is filled by Jack Klues, until now chief executive of Starcom MediaVest Group - an appointment eulogized by Publicis chairman/ceo Maurice Levy. "It was an easy choice for all of us, a measure of Jack's qualities as a manager and his track record of performance," he said.

"We will benefit tremendously at a time when the importance of media has never been greater, when the holistic approach is a critical strategic objective for us and for our clients, and when Jack's hands-on experience and comprehensive knowledge of the American marketplace can guide the management board and the group as a whole."

Klues will take his place on the Publicis management board alongside Levy, general secretary Claudine Bienaime, Saatchi & Saatchi ceo Kevin Roberts and his counterpart at Publicis Worldwide, Bertrand Siguier.

Meantime, Japanese advertising colossus Dentsu strengthens its links to the French group with the appointment to Publicis' supervisory board of Dentsu president/ceo Tateo Mataki. Publicis inherited a 15% holding in Dentsu when it acquired Bcom3.

Dentsu, number five agency group in the world pecking order, is dominant in its home market where it controls almost half of Japan's media buying. Beyond its own backyard, however, it remains a relative minnow with just 10% of revenues derived from overseas sources.

Data sourced from BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff