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WPP stays in familiar hands with new chief exec

Read also unveils restructuring plans

Mark Read

The resignation of Sir Martin Sorrell as chief executive of WPP in April following allegations of misconduct has left the world's biggest PR and advertising group without a permanent chief executive for months. Last week saw the company announce that Mark Read would take the helm.

Read, who has been acting joint chief operating officer with Andrew Scott, has big shoes to fill. Sorrell’s iron grip on the company helped it grow from its founding business as a wire basket manufacturer into the dominant force in global advertising.

The new chief executive is very much a WPP insider, having served at the company for 12 years in various positions, including leading its advertising agency arm Wunderman for over three years.

Read has already revealed he aims to address WPP’s structure, paying a particular focus to “underperforming operations – particularly in the United States”.

The end goal is to simplify its internal structure, and Read said he wants to make it easier for clients to work with the company’s network, which is made up of advertising agencies, brand consultancies, market research services and PR firms.

Following a positive like-for-like sales growth in the second quarter, but disappointing results for its North American business, Read pledged to update investors on the review’s progress before the end of the year.

The conglomerate's WPP Health and Wellness division includes healthcare specialist agencies Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, Sudler & Hennessey, ghg. greyhealth group, and CMI/Compas.

11th September 2018

From: Marketing

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