WPP con­firms Mark Read as new chief ex­ec­u­tive

Campaign Middle East - - CONTENTS -

WPP has con­firmed Mark Read as the ad­ver­tis­ing giant’s new chief ex­ec­u­tive, who will be paid a much lower salary than his pre­de­ces­sor Sir Martin Sor­rell.

Read, 51, will be paid an an­nual salary of £975,000, with an an­nual bonus of up to 250 per cent of salary (at least 40 per cent of which must be de­ferred into shares for two years).

The for­mer Wun­der­man global chief ex­ec­u­tive will also re­ceive a per­for­mance-re­lated bonus (LTIP award) of 350 per cent of salary, with per­for­mance mea­sured over a fiveyear pe­riod, and a cash al­lowance of 20 per cent of salary.

Sor­rell had at­tracted no­to­ri­ety be­yond the ad in­dus­try for be­ing the high­est-paid chief ex­ec­u­tive in the FTSE 100. Last year he was re­warded £13.9m, but in pre­vi­ous years was paid £48.1m (2016) and £70.4m (2015).

WPP chair­man Roberta Quarta said the com­pany’s board car­ried out a “rig­or­ous se­lec­tion process” of in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal can­di­dates to re­place Sor­rell, who quit abruptly in April fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions of mis­con­duct, which he has al­ways de­nied.

Since Sor­rell’s exit, Quarta ap­pointed Read and An­drew Scott as in­terim lead­ers un­der the ti­tle joint chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cers.

Scott, who was pre­vi­ously chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of WPP Europe, will con­tinue in the role of chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of WPP on a per­ma­nent ba­sis.

The com­pany’s share price did not move sig­nif­i­cantly in the hour fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment, re­flect­ing that the news was widely ex­pected.

Ian Whit­taker, me­dia an­a­lyst at Liberum, de­scribed Read’s ap­point­ment as a “pos­i­tive”.

“He comes with the ad­van­tages of hav­ing run one of the ma­jor units [Wun­der­man] and of know­ing WPP ex­ten­sively, as well as be­ing known to the mar­kets in his pre­vi­ous role as deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive,” he said.

“More­over, in the past sev­eral months dur­ing his ten­ure as joint chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, the group has won a num­ber of ma­jor con­tracts, in­clud­ing two ma­jor re­cent wins at Mars and Mon­delez, and taken steps to re­duce the net debt level by sell­ing off mi­nor­ity stakes in sev­eral busi­nesses.”

Quarta said of Read: “That [se­lec­tion] 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.”

Cut price: Read will re­ceive a much lower salary than his pre­de­ces­sor

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