NEWS3 September 2018

WPP confirms Read as Sorrell successor

Asia Pacific Data analytics Europe Latin America Media Middle East and Africa News North America People Technology UK

UK – WPP has appointed Mark Read as its new chief executive, replacing Sir Martin Sorrell.


Read has been running the company as co-chief operating officer alongside Andrew Scott, on an interim basis, since the sudden departure of Sorrell in April.

The decision to appoint Read as Sorrell’s replacement comes after a months-long search for a successor, after Sorrell left the business following an accusation of misconduct. Read’s appointment has been unanimously approved by WPP’s board. He has also been appointed to the board as executive director.

Roberto Quarta, chairman of WPP, said: “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.”

Prior to becoming chief operating officer at WPP, Read was chief executive at digital agency Wunderman.

Read’s annual salary will be £975,000, with a potential annual bonus of up to 250% of the salary. He will receive a cash allowance of 20% of his salary in lieu of pension.

Quarta added: “The priority for the board and the task ahead for Mark and the new management team is to build on [the company’s] position of strength, while pursuing a clear vision for change and value creation.”

Quarta, who had been serving as interim chairman, has resumed his role as non-executive chairman, while Andrew Scott will continue as chief operating officer on a permanent basis.

Read 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. 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.

He added: “To achieve that we need to foster a culture that attracts the best and brightest: inclusive, respectful, collaborative, diverse.”