Mark Read appointed as chief executive at WPP

WPP has named Mark Read as its new chief executive officer, succeeding Sir Martin Sorrell who departed in April. Read most recently served as joint chief operating officer at the firm.

Read has long been predicted as the person to take the reins from Sorrell, even before the long-time WPP chief departed in controversial circumstances back in April. He previously served as global chief executive for WPP-owned digital agency Wunderman, and has been running the company alongside Andrew Scott for the past five months. His confirmation by WPP also sees him joining the companys board as executive director.

“The board carried out a rigorous selection process, assessing internal and external candidates,” said Roberto Quarta, chairman of WPP. “That process, alongside Marks 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 boards unanimous decision to appoint him as chief executive officer of WPP.”

As part of the announcement, WPP disclosed details of Reads contract with the firm, which will see him earn an annual salary of £975,000 (£757,000) with a potential bonus of £250,000, up to 40 per cent of which can be deferred into shares over a two-year period. The contract also includes a benefits package of £35,000 and a tough non-compete clause, and is substantially less lucrative than Sorrells compensation ended up being in his final few years at the company.

“WPP is a greart company with exceptional people and strong relationships with clients who place a high value on our work,” said Read. “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.

“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 beenfit of our clients, to accelerate our transformation and simplify our offering, and to position WPP for stronger growth.

“To achieve that, we nede to foster a culture that attractsd 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 a chance to build a new WPP with them.”