WPP’s former strategy and digital chief, Mark Read, is now the favourite to become the company’s new CEO, according to media reports out of the UK.
Read became WPP’s joint chief operating officer in April after company founder, Martin Sorrell’s, spectacular departure from the world’s biggest advertising group in April.
As reported on B&T last week, David Kenny, the senior vice-president of IBM’s Watson and Cloud Platform division, had been sounded out for the role, however, it’s believed he is no longer interested in the position.
Read is said to be well-liked within WPP’s boardrooms and is very familiar with the business’ culture. His digital savviness also gives him the edge over rivals.
WPP has been meticulous in finding Sorrell’s replacement; however, the long delay – nearing five months – has reportedly created a great deal of uncertainty in parts of the business.
If reports in the media are correct, Read will be appointed in early September when the company unveils its half-year results.
Whoever does land the coveted role will certainly have a job on their hands. Not only has WPP’s fortunes taken a hit in recent time – its market value is down a third in 18 months – it also has the other problem of Sorrell himself whose new ventures are designed to play exactly in WPP’s patch.