Keith Weed appointed to WPP board as non-executive director

Former Unilever CMO Keith Weed has joined the WPP board as a non-executive director, effective from 1 November.

Weed resigned from the Unilever position in May after working at the brand for more than 30 years. Shortly thereafter, he became an investor in Tribe, the Jules Lund-fronted influencer platform connecting brands with content creators.

“Keith is one of the world’s most influential and successful marketers. He has a deep understanding of our business, the ways in which technology is transforming marketing, the sectors in which we operate, and our FMCG clients in particular. We are very pleased to welcome him to the WPP Board,” said Roberto Quarta, chairperson of WPP.

Weed was named the world’s most influential chief marketing officer by Forbes for the past three years, and was 2017’s global marketer of the year, as awarded by the World Federation of Advertisers.

“I am delighted to join the WPP Board at such an important and dynamic time for the industry. I have worked with WPP for many years, leading brand-led businesses around the world,” Weed said.

“I look forward to contributing to WPP’s future, leveraging my understanding of building brands in a rapidly changing world – from digital and data to content creation and sustainability.”

Locally, WPP is anticipating the arrival of new AUNZ CEO Jens Monsees, who commences on 1 October. Monsees will take over from John Steedman, who has been acting as interim CEO since October last year.

Earlier this week, the holding group merged PR agencies PPR and BCW, following on from a string of mergers. In May 2017, The White Agency merged with Grey Group Australia to create White Grey. In September 2018 Y&R and VML were merged to create VMLY&R, and a month later WPP announced it was merging JWT and Wunderman to create Wunderman Thompson. And in July, the group’s digital marketing consultancy Switched On merged into experience design agency AKQA.

Last month, WPP AUNZ announced a loss of $253.5m for the first half of the calendar year and wrote down the value of its agency brands by $270m.

The group is also facing court action from former high-level staff. Former Mediacom Melbourne general manager Rob Moore and former bespoke Vodafone agency Team Red managing director Carmel Williamson have filed general protections claims which are progressing through the courts.

Moore is seeking reinstatement after alleging he was made redundant after disclosing a diagnosis of depression to CEO Willie Pang, claiming the agency management did not do enough to reduce his workload and stress.

A few months before Moore filed court documents, Williamson commenced her case, alleging that harassment and a “boys club” culture ultimately led to her being dismissed after just six months in the role and in need of psychological treatment.

WPP media agency Ikon has also experienced a number of staff exits, including Melbourne MD Mel Roberts, and redundancies.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.