WPP’s digital supremo Mark Read is stepping down from the main board to become CEO of Wunderman, once a direct marketing agency, now more of a digital supermarket. He succeeds Danel Morel who is becoming non-executive chairman.
This will be seen by some as a sign that Read, who some had tipped to succeed boss Sir Martin Sorrell one day, is out of the running. Actually it follows a pattern: Eric Salama, boss of WPP’s huge Kantar data outfit, also had a long stint on the main WPP board before going off to run part of the empire. CEO Sorrell doesn’t see the need for WPP barons on the main board.
Wunderman, one of eight WPP agencies with revenues of over $1bn, is clearly a big job in its own right. Read, who previously chaired Wunderman, says: “Wunderman is extremely well-positioned to help clients succeed in a marketing world being reshaped by companies including Google, Facebook, Twitter and Tencent.”