Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun Honored at CEW Cancer and Careers Luncheon

On Thursday, the CEW Foundation hosted its Beauty of Giving Luncheon in New York’s Upper East Side, benefiting 2001-founded Cancer and Careers and honoring Publicis Groupe chairman and chief executive officer Arthur Sadoun.

“We believe work offers hope, dignity and joy during one of life’s trying moments,” said CEW president Carlotta Jacobson of the genesis — and continued mission — of Cancer and Careers to help people with cancer diagnoses navigate the workplace.

More from WWD

“We know that the presence of survivors in the workforce, and a focus on employee health and caregiver needs, makes for an environment that is better for everyone,” added Rebecca V. Nellis, executive director of the CEW Foundation.

This focus aligns with honoree Sadoun’s own mission to combat the stigma of cancer in the workplace.

“It was exactly two years ago that I was finishing surgery to remove my tumor,” said Sadoun, recalling a message of optimism from his chemotherapist about how changed life would be for him afterward. “She said to me, ‘you’re going to see things differently; you’re going to see better.’

“That’s been true — today, I feel stronger than ever.”

Through the difficulty of treatment, Sadoun found new purpose in his aim to ensure that people undergoing cancer treatment would not need to grapple with an additional lack of support in the workplace, or fear of job insecurity, as a result of their diagnosis.

The 2024 Beauty of Giving Luncheon.
The 2024 Beauty of Giving Luncheon.

In January 2023, he spearheaded Publicis Foundation’s launch of Working With Cancer — a pledge now taken by more than 1,700 companies to build “open, supportive and recovery-forward work cultures.” The commitment also guarantees job security for all employees diagnosed with cancer for one year.

Anica Malabanan, a Publicis Media employee who received a cancer diagnosis not long after Working With Cancer launched, took to the stage to share her story. “I call myself a warrior — that’s how I frame my experience — but warriors need support too,” she said. “I want everyone facing a cancer diagnosis to know what it feels like to have the level of support that I’ve had from my family and my work, because it brings courage and so much hope.”

So far, some 30 million employees and counting are protected under the Working With Cancer pledge.

“This is just the beginning,” Sadoun ended.

Best of WWD