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Mark Read to succeed Sir Martin Sorrell at WPP?

21-August-2018
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Mark Read to succeed Sir Martin Sorrell at WPP?

With world’s largest advertising group WPP being in the process of appointing a successor to its former CEO & Founder Sir Martin Sorrell, former Strategy and Digital Chief Mark Read has emerged as a favourite, according to media reports.  

Currently, Read and Andrew Scott are leading the company as joint Chief Operating Officers. They took up the roles following the controversial exit of Sorrell in April. 

Reports suggest that Read has emerged as the favourite candidate internally to take over the coveted post. It is being reported that there is a growing belief that he will be officially given the role after the completion of the drawn-out process.

The official announcement of Sorrell’s successor is being looked forward to by the industry across the globe. It has become critical for WPP as the delay is leading to an environment of uncertainty.

WPP is scheduled to report its half-year financial results on September 4. And according to media reports, the agency may make the announcement in that month as any further delay might lead to investors losing confidence.

Reports of Read being a favourite assumes importance as in the recent past, top global business leaders such as Unilever CMO, Keith Weed, Dentsu Aegis CEO, Jerry Buhlmann and IBM Executive, David Kenny are few names that have been possibly considered as potential external candidates to succeed Sorrell.

Sorrell announced his sudden ouster on April 15, 2018. The 73-year-old advertising guru was facing an unspecified investigation about “personal misconduct and misuse of company assets." Sorrell has, however, denied the charges.

In his statement, Sorrel had said, “As I look ahead, I see that the current disruption we are experiencing is simply putting too much unnecessary pressure on the business, our over 200,000 people and their 500,000 or so dependants, and the clients we serve in 112 countries. That is why I have decided that in your interest, in the interest of our clients, in the interest of all share owners, both big and small, and in the interest of all our other stakeholders, it is best for me to step aside.”

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