WPP appoints Mark Read as Sir Martin Sorrell’s successor

WPP has confirmed Mark Read as its new CEO replacing Sir Martin Sorrell who abruptly resigned in April.

Sorrell’s exit in April came just days after the WPP board began an investigation into his alleged “personal misconduct”.

Mark Read is now the new CEO of WPP

Read, who is now one of the most powerful leaders in advertising, was previously the chief operating officer at WPP for six months.

In his new role as WPP plc CEO Read will be paid an annual salary of £975,000, which is approximately $A1.74m along with a benefits allowance of $A62,482.

Prior to his COO stint at WPP, Read was the CEO of UK-based agency Wunderman for three years.

Before his Wunderman CEO role Read spent 12 years at WPP as its director of strategy and a board member.

Roberto Quarta, chairman of WPP, said in a statement: “The Board carried out a rigorous selection process, assessing internal and external candidates. That process, alongside Mark’s wise and effective stewardship of the business in the last few months, left us with no doubt that he is the right leader for this company, and we are delighted to announce the Board’s unanimous decision to appoint him as Chief Executive Officer of WPP.

“Recognised for his leadership throughout the industry, he has an intimate understanding of the business, he enjoys very strong internal support, and he has earned the respect and endorsement of our clients with his constant focus on their needs. He has played a central role in many of WPP’s most successful investments and initiatives, and he has deep experience at board and operational level.

“Most recently, Mark led the transformation of Wunderman into one of the world’s top digital agencies, and he understands the importance of culture in creating successful organisations. In short, he is in every way a 21st-century CEO.”

Read said WPP is a great company that fosters “exceptional” client relationships.

“Our industry is going through a period of structural change, not structural decline, and if we embrace that change we can look ahead to an exciting and successful future. Our mission now is to release the full potential that exists within the company for the benefit of our clients, to accelerate our transformation and simplify our offering, and to position WPP for stronger growth.

“To achieve that we need to foster a culture that attracts the best and brightest: inclusive, respectful, collaborative, diverse. What makes our company special is its people, and I am very proud to have been given the chance to build a new WPP with them.”


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