Mark Read, married with two children, has been appointed as the new CEO of WPP after 9 years holding multiple leadership positions across the Group, including nine years as an Executive Director of WPP plc. For 12 years, he has been Head of Strategy and then CEO of WPP Digital.
Read has been elected as Chief Executive Officer as well as Executive Director of WPP Board with immediate effect.
He will keep on headquartered in London.
The new CEO of WPP underscored: “WPP is a great company with exceptional people and strong relationships with clients who place a high value on our work. Few organisations have our global reach – 130,000 people delivering results for clients in 112 different countries. Fewer still have our powerful combination of creativity and expertise in technology and data.
Roberto Quarta has resumed his role as Non-Executive Chairman on the appointment of Mark Read as Chief Executive Officer.
Andrew Scott will continue in his role as Chief Operating Officer of WPP on a permanent basis as a key member of the senior management team.
Read has been responsible for the Group’s digital development, including the move into technology through the acquisition of 24/7 Real Media, the creation of digital network Possible and the launch of Stream, WPP’s “unconference”.
Since his appointemnt as Global CEO of Wunderman in 2015, Read transformed the network into one of the world’s leading customer-focused digital agencies. Wunderman is among WPP’s largest businesses, with more than 10,000 people in 200 offices across 70 countries and clients including Microsoft, Dell, Shell, BT and Adidas.
In April 2018 he was named joint Chief Operating Officer of WPP, with responsibility for clients, operating companies and people.
“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.”, underscores Read, and he adds: “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.”
Also digital entreprenneur
The new CEO of WPP has an entreprenneurial profile. He co-founded and developed internet start-up WebRewards. He specialised in the media and marketing industries as a principal at consultancy Booz Allen & Hamilton, having started his career at the WPP parent company working on corporate development.
MBA from INSEAD and an Economics degree from Trinity College, Cambridge University, and was a Henry Fellow at Harvard University. He is the Chairman of the Natural History Museum Digital Council. Wired magazine ranked him as one of the Top 25 Digital Influencers in Europe in 2014 and he was named The Drum’s Digital Individual of the Year in 2015 and 2017.
Roberto Quarta, Chairman of WPP, says on Mark Read: “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.
“WPP is a world leader in communications services. The priority for the Board and the task ahead for Mark and the new management team is to build on this position of strength, while pursuing a clear vision for change and value creation.”
Image over the headline.- Mark Read (CEO of WPP). © WPP
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