Building the new WPP will be a shared endeavour: Mark Read

The newly appointed CEO of WPP, in an internal email addressing all employees, said that the company will focus on investing in areas like artificial intelligence and programmatic media.

by exchange4media Staff
Published - Sep 4, 2018 9:00 AM Updated: Sep 4, 2018 9:00 AM

After five months of searching for the right candidate, WPP on Monday appointed Mark Read as its Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director. He has also been added to the Board of Directors. Read succeeds Sir Martin Sorrell who moved out of the company in April this year.

At the helm of the largest media company in the world at a time when the advertising world is experiencing a severe churn, Read will have to tackle the challenges of a changing ecosystem.

Taking charge as the CEO, Read wrote an internal mail to all 1,30,000 WPP employees outlining his vision for the company. In the mail he said, “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.” Read said although “some commentators have questioned the prospects for our industry,” he believes that the “prospects are bright”.

“What makes WPP special is its people,” he wrote. As WPP strengthens its offerings, Read said, the company will invest in areas that are reshaping the industry, like artificial intelligence and programmatic media.

In the letter, he laid down the mission for WPP. The mission, he said, is “to build on our strengths, increase the pace of change, and release the full potential that exists within WPP for the benefit of our clients.” Doing so will get the company “in the best shape to deliver stronger growth for our share owners,” wrote Read.

With management consultancies encroaching upon the agency business, Read said the “spirit of creativity will always be at the heart of what we do, but pairing that with expertise in technology and data is vital.”

Talking about the path ahead, he said, “I see WPP as a modern, vibrant organisation that works as a team to help our clients succeed and grow through an integrated offer of marketing, consulting and technology services.”

Read added that WPP will simplify its offering to clients. “Access to our wealth of talent and resources will be even simpler for our clients. We’ll be absolutely focused on what our clients need, and we won’t let our own structures distract us or get in the way. As part of that simplification, we’ll adopt much more of a common approach to things like technology, data and production.”

To help achieve all goals that he set for WPP, Read said the company will “foster a culture that attracts the best and brightest: inclusive, respectful, collaborative, diverse.”

“Building the new WPP will be a shared endeavour and I’m looking forward to working with and listening to people throughout the company as we develop our plans for the future,” he further said.

In addition to motivating employees and setting the tone for the next phase of WPP in the internally circulated mail, Read announced that Andrew Scott will take up the position of Chief Operating Officer of WPP on a permanent basis as a key member of the senior team.

The company will announce its half-yearly financial results on September 4.

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