New Wunderman CEO Mark Read, formerly WPP’s digital supremo, is getting a move on in his new job, appointing UK CEO Mel Edwards (left) to CEO of Europe, Middle East and Africa. She remains UK CEO while a replacement is recruited at which point she will move up to chairman.
Edwards replaces Stephane Faggianelli. Faggianelli, says the company, “will be exploring other opportunities within WPP.”
Wunderman, once the world’s biggest direct marketing firm and named after its founder Lester Wunderman, now positions itself as a digital, CRM and mobile agency. It employs 3000 or so people in 78 offices in 36 countries. Its biggest clients include Best Buy, Citibank, Coca-Cola, Ford, Microsoft, Pfizer, Telefonica and Shell.
Read says: “Mel has done a fantastic job in helping Wunderman become a formidable force in the UK. She has the right qualities, a focus on clients, creativity, innovation and new business to spearhead further growth in EMEA.”
Edwards says: “We have a strong bench of leaders and great talent across EMEA. I plan to help galvanize this talent and drive evolution and innovation. I’m looking forward to working with Mark and the teams in the UK and across EMEA to help realize our big ambitions for the region.”
Wunderman is a big opportunity for Read who, as digital boss, was a WPP main board director for over a decade. At some stage WPP founder and boss Sir Martin Sorrell will need to offer shareholders some clues as to who might be in line to succeed him one of these days. A strong performance at Wunderman would do Read’s chances no harm.