WPP all set to announce Mark Read as CEO
Reports are rife that he will succeed Sir Martin Sorrell at what is the world's largest advertising empire
After deciding against external hire to replace founder Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP will name Mark Read as its new chief executive next week, if reports are to be believed. The announcement is expected to be made on September 4, Tuesday, when WPP will announce its half-year results, but some reports also suggest that the announcement could come later in September. WPP has declined to comment on Read’s promotion, which was first revealed by the Financial Times.
Roberto Quarta, the group’s non-executive chairman, became executive chairman on a temporary basis following Sorrell's exit. He is expected to move back to a non-executive role after Read’s appointment.
Read, who has been interim co-COO at WPP along with Andrew Scott, after Sorrell’s suddden and controversial exit in April, is a veteran at the Group, including 10 years on the board. Over the last few months he has been tipped as the favourite internal candidate for the job. Read previously ran WPP Digital and more recently served as chief executive of WPP’s Wunderman.
Within weeks of Sorrell’s departure, Read is said to have launched an internal review of company conduct rules, after allegations emerged that the former chief executive had bullied staff and misused company funds. Sorrell firmly continues to deny the claims.
WPP even hired an NY-based recruiter to lead a global search to replace Sorrell. Russell Reynolds, a top five global executive search firm, was understood to be working with Frances Illingworth, WPP’s global head of recruitment, say reports. But the Group finally seems to have made the decision to stick to an internal replacement. That Read has his work cut out for him is no secret as WPP comprises a network of 400 companies.
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