WPP Appoints Mark Read as New CEO
Posted on September 03, 2018

WPP has appointed Mark Read as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director to WPP Board with immediate effect. 

Roberto Quarta, Chairman of WPP, asserted that the Board carried out a rigorous selection process, assessing internal and external candidates. He said: "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." 

Read has played a central role in many of WPP’s most successful investments and initiatives, and is said to have deep experience at board and operational level. Most recently, he led the transformation of Wunderman into one of the world’s top digital agencies. "He understands the importance of culture in creating successful organisations. In short, he is in every way a 21st-century CEO," added Quarta who has resumed his role as Non-Executive Chairman on the appointment of Mark Read as Chief Executive Officer. 

Andrew Scott will continue in his role as Chief Operating Officer of WPP on a permanent basis as a key member of the senior management team. 

Mark 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 

“To achieve that we need to foster a culture that attracts 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 the chance to build a new WPP with them.” 

WPP employs 130,000 people in 112 different countries. 

As for Read's remuneration, the press statement reveals that he will be paid in accordance with the Compensation Policy approved by share owners on 7 June 2017, as set out in the 2016 Annual Report. 

  • • Annual Salary of £975,000. 
  • • Annual Bonus of up to 250% of salary with mandatory deferral of at least 40% of bonus into shares deferred for a two-year period. 
  • • LTIP award of 350% of salary. Performance will be measured over a five-year period using measures in line with our Compensation Policy. 
  • • A cash allowance of 20% of salary, less employers’ national insurance, in lieu of pension. 
  • • A benefits allowance of £35,000 per annum to cover health, risk and other benefits. 

His contract of employment contains restrictive covenants including an industry non-compete, a non-deal with clients and a non-poach and non-employ of key WPP individuals.